Hope for fruitful outcome from trade talks with China: US official

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Washington, March 29 (IANS) US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said that “there’s hope” that trade talks between the US and China could lead to a fruitful outcome.

In an interview with CNBC, Lighthizer on Wednesday said the the USTR’s Office would announce a list of Chinese goods subject to potential tariffs “before very long”, based on the so-called Section 301 investigation against alleged Chinese technology transfer practices, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Then we’ll go through a 60-day period where we’ll give the public a chance to comment on the good and the bad things in there,” he said, signalling that President Donald Trump’s administration wa unlikely to impose tariffs on Chinese goods until early June.

Trump last week signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China and restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.

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Asked on CNBC whether US negotiations with China could lead to the avoidance of tariffs or a fruitful outcome similar to the recent trade deal between the US and South Korea, Lighthizer said: “I think there is hope”.

While the US and China have two “very different” economic systems, Lighthizer said “it’s very possible” that the US-China trade relationship could end up in “a good place” after overcoming “a series of difficulties” over many years.

Business groups from China and the US have warned the Trump administration not to move forward with its tariff plan as it would raise the costs for American consumers and companies as well as having a negative impact on the financial markets.

–IANS

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