26 de mayo de 2019
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Future of US-China trade talks uncertain

Washington, May 10 (efe-epa).- United States and China concluded here Friday a round of "constructive" trade negotiations, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, though he later acknowledged that no further talks were scheduled.

Washington, May 10 (efe-epa).- United States and China concluded here Friday a round of "constructive" trade negotiations, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, though he later acknowledged that no further talks were scheduled.

"There were constructive conversations," Mnuchin told reporters as he bid farewell to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the leader of the delegation that traveled from Beijing to Washington for the two-day session.

Negotiators from the world's two largest economies failed to reach an agreement to end the trade war that began last year with President Donald Trump's decision to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of goods from China.

Beijing responded to that move by hiking tariffs on an additional $60 billion worth of US products.

Last weekend, Trump set a deadline of midnight Thursday for a deal to be struck with Beijing; otherwise, he said the US would raise the tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The higher levies took effect at 12.01 am Friday, prompting the Chinese trade ministry issue a statement: "China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures."

Despite the escalation of the tariffs, the US and Chinese teams met Friday as scheduled.

Mnuchin's positive comments about the negotiations spurred a rally on the New York Stock Exchange, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 358 points after a early-morning tweet by Trump indicating that he was in no hurry to reach an accord with China.

The Dow erased the loss and finished the session with a gain of 114.01 points, or 0.4 percent.

Trump likewise offered an upbeat appraisal of the talks.

"Over the course of the past two days, the United States and China have held candid and constructive conversations on the status of the trade relationship between both countries," he said on Twitter.

"The relationship between President Xi and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations into the future will continue. In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!," Trump wrote.

On Thursday, he criticized Beijing for what he said were last-minute changes to a nearly concluded agreement.

"They renegotiated the deal. I mean they took, whether it's intellectual property theft (from US companies doing business in China), they took many, many parts of that deal and they renegotiated. You can't do that," Trump said.

Nevertheless, he insisted that the US stands to benefit whether a deal is reached or not.

"I'm different than a lot of people. I happen to think that tariffs for our country are very powerful," he said, adding that the US was not "going to be taken advantage of anymore."

Trump has previously signaled his willingness to extend tariffs to all Chinese imports.

EFE

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