US won't talk to China on trade until it gets specific plan to halt tech theft

  • Trade tensions continue to simmer, with the U.S. demanding a specific plan from China to halt technology theft.
  • The impasse threatens a meeting in late-November between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Trade tensions between have taken another negative turn, with the U.S. demanding that China come up with a specific plan to stop stealing technology.

Until Beijing does so, the U.S. will not resume trade negotiations, according to a report Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.

The latest impasse jeopardizes a meeting between President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping scheduled for the end of November at the G20 meeting. There had been some hope that Trump and the Chinese president could make progress on the myriad trade issues between the two sides, a major focus being forced technology transfers.

China has sought to resume talks but the U.S. has refused until Beijing addresses the tech issue.

“If China wants [the G-20 session] to be a meaningful meeting, we need to do the groundwork,” a senior White House official told the Journal. “And if they don’t give us any information, it’s just hard to see how that becomes fruitful.”

The U.S. has slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, charging the country with unfair trade practices that have ballooned the deficit between the two. Trump has threatened to put duties on all imported goods from China.

A week ago, Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council director, said the U.S. has let its demands be known but has not seen a satisfactory response.

“They are unfair traders. They are illegal traders. They have stolen our intellectual property,” Kudlow said in Detroit. “China has not responded positively to any of our asks.”

The Journal reports that there are risks for China to tip its hand on its negotiation strategy. In 1999, the Clinton administration made public an offer from China when it entered the World Trade Organization, sparking a crisis at home that nearly killed China’s entrance into the group.

Read the full Journal story here.

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