WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Trade talks between the United States and China made “good headway” last week in Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during talks that could extend beyond three days this week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.
FILE PHOTO: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow gives a thumbs up after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
Kudlow, speaking to reporters at an event organized by the Christian Science Monitor, said China had recognized problems for the first time during the talks that the United States has raised for years.
Negotiations are continuing in Washington on Wednesday after meetings last week in Beijing, spearheaded by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Kudlow said Chinese vice premier Liu He and his team would remain in Washington for three days and possibly longer.
“We’re covering issues that have never really been covered before, including enforcement,” Kudlow said, listing U.S. accusations that Beijing engages in intellectual property theft, forced transfer of technology from U.S. companies doing business in China, cyber hacking, tariffs and non-tariff barriers for commodity trading.
“All making good progress, all making good headway, but we’re not there yet,” he said about those areas. “We hope this week to get closer.”
Kudlow noted the significance that China had come to a place of acknowledging that such practices existed.
“The Chinese have acknowledged these problems for the first time. They were in denial,” Kudlow said.
Those structural issues along with the way a potential deal would be enforced have been consistent sticking points during months of talks between the world’s two largest economies.
The United States and China have levied tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of two-way trade since July 2018. President Donald Trump has said he wants a “great deal” with China and has hinted that tariffs could remain in place for some time.
Kudlow said on Wednesday that U.S. charges against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd had generally not come up during trade talks.
Separately, Kudlow also said no decisions have been made on tariffs on auto imports coming from top U.S. allies.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Phil Berlowitz