TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -U.S-China trade talks this week were heavy on details but short on progress as U.S. negotiators outlined cases of American firms harmed by Chinese practices and China argued it was meeting its WTO obligations, people familiar with contents of the discussions said.
The two days of talks in Washington led by mid-level officials did little to resolve a worsening trade spat between the world’s two biggest economies and ended on Thursday without a joint statement.
Washington separately held hearings during the week on another round of proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that appear increasingly likely to take effect in late September or early October.
And while factions on the U.S. side have given conflicting signals on how hard to press Beijing during the trade dispute, officials from the Treasury Department, which led the talks, and the U.S. Trade Representative, which has taken a harder line, were aligned in their messaging, the people said.
The talks took place as the two sides followed through on threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on $16 billion worth of the other’s goods. Beijing has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about the U.S. duties.
During the talks, Chinese negotiators repeatedly invoked what they said was Beijing’s compliance with WTO rules, an argument that did not impress the U.S. side.
One of the sources described the U.S. response as: “We’re not going to care about the WTO as you fuel overcapacity, wreck industries and steal IP (intellectual property). We’re not going to sit on our hands.”