By Agence France-Presse
US President Donald Trump will meet with China’s trade envoy this week during talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute with Beijing, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is leading a delegation of 30 officials to Washington as the United States and China work to reach an agreement ahead of a March 1 deadline, when US tariffs are due to increase sharply.
Mnuchin told reporters he expected “significant progress at these meetings.”
Beijing and Washington last year exchanged tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
While Trump has made the soaring US trade deficit with China a particular focus of his ire, American officials also are demanding far-reaching reforms to Chinese industrial policy to curb the alleged theft of American technological know-how and massive state intervention in commodities markets.
Mnuchin said enforcement of any agreement, protection of American intellectual property and an end to China’s forced joint venture policies as a condition of access to the Chinese market were “three of the most important issues on the agenda.”
The need to make any agreement enforceable was “obvious,” he said.
“We want to make sure that when we get a deal that that deal will be enforced,” Mnuchin said, adding that “there’s been an acknowledgement with China that they understand that.”
Observers say China is likely to resist making any changes to its “Made in China 2025” industrial strategy and that resolving such complex disagreements is a tall order within the three-month window of the current trade truce.