Trade negotiators led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing next week for another round of talks, the White House said.
Talks starting next Tuesday “will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases and enforcement,” the White House said in a statement. Chinese officials will then head to Washington on May 8, the White House said.
The U.S. and China have stepped up diplomacy in recent weeks to try to resolve their year-long trade squabble, with officials working toward a face-to-face meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to sign the deal. Mnuchin has said enforcement mechanisms will be reciprocal, and that the U.S. is open to “certain repercussions,” addressing one of the biggest sticking points in talks.
One mechanism being discussed, U.S. officials have said, would require consultations between U.S. and Chinese officials over disputes, but ultimately allow either side to impose trade sanctions unilaterally. The deal might also see both sides agree to forego their right to retaliate or challenge any enforcement action by the other at the World Trade Organization.
Any trade deal between China and the U.S. should comply with multilateral rules, and not doing so may create economic risks for the Asian nation’s other major trading partners should China import less from them, the International Monetary Fund said earlier this month.
--With assistance from Miao Han