According to a statement issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the macroeconomic situation and bilateral and multilateral cooperation “in the spirit of equality and mutual trust.” They also talked about “issues of common interest” and expressed their readiness to continue the dialogue.
The US Treasury said the two sides agreed on plans for Washington to provide support to continue the economic recovery. There has also been talk of the importance of China-US cooperation in areas of US interest while addressing concerns publicly.
Liu, who is also China’s chief trade negotiator on US-China economic relations, held a virtual meeting with Catherine Tay, Washington’s new chief trade representative, on Thursday. Trade negotiators for the world’s two largest economies held a formal meeting last week for the first time since US President Joe Biden took office on January 20.
Former US President Donald Trump and Liu Hu signed a two-year sub-trade agreement in mid-January last year, leaving many important contentious issues unresolved for the time being. Central to the agreement is China’s commitment to increase the value of its US imports by $200 billion over two years to reduce the US trade deficit in bilateral trade. The US foreign trade deficit to China peaked at $420 billion in 2018. However, China failed to meet its import obligations under the agreement by nearly 40 percent last year, and the situation has not improved this year.
As early as December last year, Biden indicated that he was not preparing for the immediate termination of the US-China sub-agreement, nor the elimination of additional duties on Chinese exports.
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