U.S. seeks China trade moves on autos, financials, chips

U.S. seeks China trade moves on autos, financials, chips

Top Trump administration officials are asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors in negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese goods and a potential trade war, Reuters reports.

A person familiar with the discussions said these were among the asks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they pursue talks with Beijing.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the demands from U.S. officials, saying they came in a letter sent to Beijing last week.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro confirmed that President Donald Trump asked Mnuchin and Lighthizer to try to resolve trade differences with China.

“We’re hopeful there that China will work with us to basically address some of these practices,” Navarro told CNBC television.

U.S. stocks surged on Monday on the news that the two sides were talking, after a massive rout last week when Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports over alleged misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its third biggest point gain ever, rising 669.4 points, or 2.8 percent, to close at 24,202.6 while the broader S&P 500 rose 2.7 percent after a nearly 6 percent drop last week.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s door was always open to talks, but that this needed to happen on the basis of equality and mutual respect with a “win-win” outcome.

Premier Li Keqiang said earlier on Monday that China and the United States should maintain negotiations and repeated pledges to ease access for American businesses to China’s markets.

Li told a conference that included global chief executives that China would treat foreign and domestic firms equally, would not force foreign firms to transfer technology and would strengthen intellectual property rights, repeating promises that have failed to placate Washington.

Despite a steady stream of fierce rhetoric from Chinese state media lambasting the United States for being a “bully” and warning of retaliation, Chinese and U.S. officials are busy negotiating behind the scenes.

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