US-China trade talks in Beijing are progressing and were poised to extend into Wednesday, according to an American negotiator. The discussions during the past two days “went well,” according to Steven Winberg, an Energy Department official who spoke to reporters in Beijing. “I can confirm we’re continuing tomorrow.”
The reason for the extension of meetings originally scheduled for two days wasn’t immediately clear. President Donald Trump earlier expressed optimism in a tweet, exclaiming “Talks with China are going very well!”
Chinese authorities plan to give a statement following the latest round of negotiations. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing that “we will release a detailed readout after they are concluded.”
US stocks and European equities jumped as investors awaited developments on trade talks between the world’s largest economies. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed optimism, telling CNBC that “there’s a very good chance that we’ll get a reasonable settlement.” Vice Premier Liu He made an appearance at the talks in a sign the Chinese were also pushing for a positive outcome.
Liu, the chief economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, made brief remarks at the negotiations, a person familiar with the meeting said. Asked about his presence on Tuesday, Lu from the foreign ministry said it wasn’t surprising for Liu to be there. Liu led a previous round of talks in Washington last year that ended in failure, and he’s expected to meet chief US negotiator Robert Lighthizer later this month.
Since the two presidents met on December 1, China has made a number of concessions to US demands, including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US-made cars, resuming soybean purchases, promising to open up markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.