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U.S.-China trade talks to continue next week by video link: Kudlow

Kitco News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators will continue their talks next week by video conference as they try to reach a deal to resolve a nine-month-old trade war, White House adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a third straight day on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump hailed progress in the talks and said a deal could be announced in the next four weeks.

Kudlow, speaking on Bloomberg Television, said Liu was due back in Beijing after Friday’s talks but the two sides would press ahead to resolve remaining differences by video link.

“There’s no let up here, this is an ongoing process,” Kudlow said.

The United States is seeking reforms to Chinese practices that it says result in the theft of U.S. intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology from U.S. companies to Chinese firms.

Washington also has demanded that Beijing curb industrial subsidies and open its economy wider to U.S. companies and that it increase purchases of U.S. goods including farm and energy commodities to shrink the gaping U.S. trade deficit with China.

“We are making headway in a lot of areas. That includes enforcement, that includes IP (intellectual property) theft, that includes forced technology transfers, ownership, cyberspace, commodities and all the rest of it,” Kudlow said. “Those are of course in the middle of the negotiations that are ongoing but we’ve come further and farther than ever before.”

On Thursday, Lighthizer, who is leading the talks for the Trump administration, said there were still some “major, major issues” to resolve.

“Lighthizer serves as the best north star of where the negotiations really stand,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Lighthizer “said there are still many areas of differences that need to be addressed, so I think most of the other rosier or more pessimistic are less dependable,” he added.

Reporting by David Lawder, Jason Lange and Chris Prentice in Washington; Writing by David Lawder and Alexandra Alper; Editing by James Dalgleish and Susan Thomas

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