The latest round of vice-ministerial-level trade talks between China and the United States, which concluded on Wednesday, has laid the foundation for addressing each country's concerns in the future, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
Both sides have actively implemented the significant consensus reached by the two countries' heads of state and conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, said Gao Feng, the ministry's spokesman. They agreed to maintain close contact after this meeting, he said at a news briefing on Thursday.
The meeting between China and the U.S., attended by vice-ministerial officials, was held from Monday to Wednesday in Beijing.
On Dec 1, the top leaders of China and the U.S. met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. They agreed to continue negotiations, stop the imposition of new tariffs and exchange visits at an appropriate time.
The U.S. delegation in Beijing was led by U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish.
Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, said he was pleased that the two governments have had substantive discussions over the past three days and looked forward to hearing details about the negotiations.
Any agreement between the governments should include positive incentives, such as a mechanism for removing tariff hikes the two countries have imposed on each other as progress is made, he said.
Allen said removal of these tariffs should be a priority to address the damage that has been done to U.S. companies that depend on trade with China, and to the U.S. economy as a whole. The Washington-based council will continue to work with both governments to ensure these outcomes, he said.
China has already shown its determination to put its foreign trade on a firmer footing and has increased moves to accelerate its pace of reform and opening-up, especially to further safeguard intellectual property rights, expand market access and increase imports from the U.S., as well as to make the business environment even more transparent and fairer, said Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
"These moves are not only to respond to concerns from the U.S. but also to realize the potential of high-level opening-up to the rest of the world," he said. "China has always been adopting an open stance toward solving trade disputes with the U.S.. It showed its sincerity in settling the disputes through concrete measures."
Trade volume between China and the U.S. amounted to $582.82 billion between January and November last year, up by 10.9 percent year-on-year, according to the latest data from the General Administration of Customs.
To further improve the business environment, China has already removed the import license requirement for 118 products as well as 29 product import restrictions, said Song Xianmao, deputy director-general of the foreign trade department at the Ministry of Commerce.
China's imports are expected to exceed $2 trillion in 2018, which would be a record, he said.