USA says it's made 'progress' in trade talks with China

Leaders from China and the US during trade talks

Leaders from China and the US during trade talks

Benchmarks in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced after Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, said China was offering to cut tariffs and other restrictions on US farm, chemical, auto and other products.

The trade war between the US and China has always pivoted on intellectual property (IP) rights: Chinese companies are infamous for having usurped foreign companies' technology and reproducing goods at a fraction of the price.

Recent reports claiming that USA companies have contributed to their persecution are of "particular concern", the letter said.

As part of the ongoing talks, the USA asked the Chinese not to retaliate or bring World Trade Organization cases in response to US tariffs that could be imposed to enforce the deal, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Sunday was the first day of the annual Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress, a body that nominally advises on laws and policy and whose members include numerous retired officials and celebrities. "We hope that the two sides will continue to hold consultations and reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement", he added.

Chinese negotiators have also offered to speed up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limits on auto ventures and to reduce tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current 15 percent rate, according to the Journal.

Natural gas: "China's state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, would agree to buy $18 billion of liquefied natural gas from Cheniere".

A senior administration official cautioned on Sunday that a decision had not yet been made over lifting the U.S tariffs.

China agrees on solution to Tesla customs issue
He also announced plans to close most of Tesla's stores in a cost-cutting move. Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Significant details remain unsettled and the deal is still being discussed but so far, the two sides have agreed on a pact that would largely require Beijing to make big purchases of US agricultural and energy goods and to lower some barriers that prevent USA companies from operating in China.

The paper quoted analysts as saying that the failure of Trump's recent summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi could affect the trade talks in one of two opposite ways.

Stronger-than-expected imports could prompt some China watchers to say the economy is showing signs of bottoming out in response to a string of stimulus measures in 2018.

Investors are watching this week's session of China's ceremonial national legislature for policy announcements on currency, trade, industrial development and possible economic stimulus.

President Trump plans to end preferential trade status for India and Turkey, which allows them to sell goods duty-free in America.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that he had asked Chinese President Xi to "immediately" lift tariffs on USA agricultural products.

The Chinese have offered to ramp up purchases of American goods by US$1.2 trillion over six years, according to a person familiar with the matter. It is unclear whether the Trump administration will agree to remove all the tariffs or keep some in place to keep pressure on China.

China's overall trade surplus is seen to have shrunk sharply to $26.38 billion in February from $39.16 billion the previous month, according to the Reuters poll.

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