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Top U.S. officials arrive in China for trade talks as deadline looms

Reuters  |  BEIJING 

By Ben Blanchard

(Reuters) - Top U.S. officials arrived in the Chinese capital on Tuesday ahead of high-level trade talks as the world's two largest economies attempt to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline and avoid another escalation of tariffs.

U.S. Trade and are scheduled to hold talks on Thursday and Friday with Chinese Liu He, top economic adviser to

If the two sides cannot reach a deal by March 1, U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent. will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced last year in retaliation.

"We're looking forward to several important days of talks," Mnuchin told reporters after arriving at a hotel.

Lighthizer, who arrived at the hotel earlier in the day, did not answer reporters' questions.

is expected to keep pressing on long-standing demands that it make sweeping structural reforms to protect American companies' intellectual property, end policies aimed at forcing the transfer of technology to Chinese companies, and curb industrial subsidies.

Talks kicked off in Beijing with discussions among deputy-level officials on Monday before minister-level meetings later in the week. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported - but no deal and U.S. declarations that much more work was needed.

U.S. said last week he did not plan to meet with Xi before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes that a trade pact could be reached quickly.

However, said on Monday a meeting was still possible soon, telling Channel that Trump wants a deal with China, but it must be "fair to Americans, and American workers and American interests".

(Reporting by Ben and Michael Martina; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 17:31 IST
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