U.S., China Trade Talks: Side-By-Side Comparison of Statements

(Bloomberg) -- They agreed to keep talking. That was the main takeaway after a week of negotiations in Beijing between the U.S. and China in an effort to end the trade war.

But there are a couple key differences in the statements from the two countries that underscore the gap that will need to be bridged before any agreement can be signed. Negotiations will continue next week in Washington. President Donald Trump has threatened to more than double tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports if the two sides don’t reach a deal by March 1, though the president indicated again on Friday that he’s considering extending the tariff truce.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison main points of the two statements. The Chinese statement was published by state news agency Xinhua.

U.S. Statement (link)Chinese Statement (link)
The discussions were “detailed and intensive” and led to progress, but “much work remains.”

No mention of a consensus.

Any commitments will be stated in a “memorandum of understanding.”
The two sides “earnestly implemented the consensus” reached when Xi and Trump met in December at the G-20 in Argentina.

Both sides reached “consensus in principle on major issues,” with a view toward a “memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues.”
U.S. focused on “structural issues” including forced-technology transfer, intellectual-property rights, cybertheft, agriculture, services, non-tariff barriers and currency.

Two sides also discussed China’s purchases of U.S. goods and services, with the aim of reducing America’s “large and persistent bilateral trade deficit with China.”
Two sides had an “in-depth” exchange on topics of “mutual concern,” including technological transfers, IP rights protection, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, the trade balance, the implementation mechanism of any agreement, as well as issues of concern to China.


No mention of Chinese purchases.
Both countries will continue working on “all outstanding issues” ahead of the March 1 deadline.Two sides agreed to step up their work, keeping in mind the March 1 deadline. Two countries agreed to “strive for consensus.”

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