Ministry: Trade talks progress smoothly

2019-11-01 08:11:33China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Leaders of the negotiating teams of China and the United States will hold talks by phone on Friday, and the White House said on Wednesday that the U.S. government still expects to nail down a "Phase One" deal in November.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said the top negotiators would arrange a call to advance their trade consultations as planned. Both sides have maintained close communication, and their negotiations are progressing smoothly, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting, which had been scheduled for Nov 16 and 17 in Chile, seems not to be hindering progress in China-U.S. trade consultations. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Wednesday that he called off the meeting because of a political crisis gripping the nation.

China and the U.S. have essentially completed technical consultations on part of the text for a preliminary agreement outlined in the latest high-level talks. On several occasions, U.S. officials expressed the willingness to seal the deal with China during the APEC meeting.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Wednesday the U.S. is still planning to finalize the "Phase One" deal in the same time frame as the now-canceled APEC meeting.

Yi Xiaozhun, deputy director general of the World Trade Organization, said the most effective way to fight protectionism is to continue keeping the door open and promoting better integration.

Only by building a stronger and more attractive market can China continue to maintain its position in global value chains, attract and retain investment with much needed technologies and know-how and contribute to the world's shared prosperity, Yi said recently.

Harald T. Nesvik, Norwegian minister of fisheries and seafood, said on Thursday during an official visit to China that he hopes countries will open up for trade because "trade wars between big nations are going to influence all of us".

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