The two countries have until March 1 before U.S. tariffs on some $200bn in Chinese goods are set to rise to 25% from 10%. Buying had slumped after China imposed a 25 percent import duty on US shipments of oilseed on July 6 in response to USA tariffs.
Beijing said that the three-day closed-door talks, which ended on Wednesday, "enhanced mutual understanding and established a foundation for solving each other's concerns".
USA officials are meeting with their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since Trump and China's President Xi Jinping in December agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets. In other words, the onus is on China to demonstrate that it will meet United States demands, with the threat of additional penalties in the background.
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The latest round of trade talks between the United States and China focused on Beijing's pledge to purchase more US goods in an attempt to alleviate tensions between the two nations, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said on Wednesday. But the lack of details from both sides following the meetings highlights the uncertainty that remains, analysts say.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC that the United States and China are "making progress" on trade. The meetings in Beijing were not at a ministerial level, so were not expected to produce a deal to end the trade war.
The chief obstacle to any deal remains the "Made in China 2025" program to accelerate China's competitiveness in key high-tech industries such as semi-conductors, commercial aircraft and electric cars.
Beijing also faces pressure over technology from the European Union.
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While Beijing has offered to allow USA corporations greater access to participation in manufacturing development in China, it is unwilling to abandon its plans to boost its industrial capabilities. China's Ministry of Commerce said there were "detailed exchanges" and both sides would "maintain close contact", without offering specifics.
In early December, Trump and Xi agreed to a temporary ceasefire, giving both sides until March to reach some agreement on trade and issues such as the forced transfer of technology. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that the talks "are going very well".
"What really matters here is what enforcements will the USA have when the Chinese don't follow through", Scissors said, adding that this would need to entail a threat to reimpose tariffs by a certain date. Trump has also threatened to go further and impose higher tariffs on all Chinese imports to the US. The Communist country has been hit with an economic slowdown and its vehicle sales have dropped 19 percent last month from the year before, the steepest decline in China in almost three decades. According to a report released yesterday, retail sales of sedans, multi-purpose vehicles and sport utility vehicles plunged by 19 percent in December-the seventh straight monthly drop. Kohl's and L Brands also posted disappointing results and a wide variety of retailers plunged as investors anxious that the stock market's December plunge stopped some shoppers from spending as much as they had planned.
Speaking after the conclusion of the talks, Ted McKinney, the USA under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, told reporters in Beijing that he thought they "went just fine".
This week's talks took place between mid-level officials.
The American delegation is led by a deputy US trade representative, Jeffrey Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.
US officials have long complained that China has failed to live up to trade promises, often citing Beijing's pledges to resume imports of American beef that took more than a decade to implement.
Any agreement, if finally reached, will be little more than a temporary truce. "The view, once commonly heard in Beijing, that it could outlast America in a grinding tariff battle has given way to the realisation that, as the country with the huge trade surplus, China has more to lose upfront".