Chinese, US chief trade negotiators hold phone talks

Chinese and US trade negotiators held phone talks on Tuesday over implementing the phase one agreement between the two economic giants.

The phone call took place between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to an official statement, the two sides conducted a constructive dialogue on such issues as strengthening bilateral coordination of macroeconomic policies and the implementation of the China-US phase-one economic and trade agreement.

They also agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue pushing forward the implementation of the trade deal.

The call came after a planned six-month review of the deal set for August 15 was delayed to an unspecified date, and US President Donald Trump subsequently claimed he postponed the talks, said a CNBC News report.

Regarding the call, the Office of the USTR said in an online statement: “The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer.

“The parties also discussed the significant increases in purchases of US products by China as well as future actions needed to implement the agreement.”

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have escalated over the last two years.

The Trump administration has levied tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods, to which Beijing has responded with duties of its own, CNBC News reported.

In January, the countries reached a phase one agreement on trade that called for increased Chinese purchases of US goods and greater access to the Chinese financial market.

However, bilateral tensions have only increased in the months since, amid the coronavirus pandemic.