China's top negotiator says it reached a 'consensus' with the US in a phone call on how to resolve trade war issues

Andy Wong/Pool/Reuters
  • China’s top negotiator on Tuesday raised hopes of a trade deal between the US and China being formed after a phone call with the US.
  • In a statement, Liu He said that both sides reached a “consensus on how to resolve related issues,” after speaking to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • He added that both sides “agreed to maintain communication on the remaining issues in the first phase of agreement negotiations.”
  • This comes after the news that China, on Sunday, said it was willing to agree to key demands from the US on intellectual property theft – something that is estimated to cost Americans $US600 billion a year.
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China’s top negotiator on Tuesday raised hopes of a trade deal between the US and China being formed, saying that both sides reached a “consensus on how to resolve related issues.”

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement that Liu He held a phone call with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, where both sides discussed key concerns and said that they “agreed to maintain communication on the remaining issues in the first phase of agreement negotiations.”

This comes after the news Sunday that China said it was willing to agree to key demands from the US on intellectual property theft.

According to a recent ITA report, IP theft costs American businesses up to $US600 billion a year, so China bumping up its plans to protect patents, copyrights and trademarks is being treated as a major step forward for negotiations.

Likewise, reports last week seemed to echo the positive news coming from negotiations, that in-person talks may be held in December ahead of the December 15 tariff deadline.

The US will be hoping that a deal is formed sooner rather than later, especially with less than a year to go for the election, as data from the New York Fed shows consumers are being hurt by the trade war.

The central bank found that Chinese businesses did not lower prices in response to tariffs and as a result, consumers and businesses in the US shouldered the cost of roughly $US40 billion annually.

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