U.S. and Chinese negotiators are working on multiple memorandums of understanding that would form the basis of a final trade deal, according to a person briefed on the talks, Bloomberg reports.
The memorandums would cover areas including agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and intellectual property, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The enforcement mechanism remains unclear, but would likely be a threat that tariffs would be reimposed if conditions aren’t met, the person said.
No breakthrough is expected during this week’s talks in Washington on major structural issues, the person said, but there is an effort underway to potentially extend a March 1 deadline for U.S. tariffs to rise on Chinese goods. Liu He, China’s chief negotiator, is expected to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, according to a separate person familiar with the situation.
Washington is also asking China to keep the value of the yuan stable to neutralize any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter U.S. tariffs, according to other people familiar with the ongoing talks. The Chinese government spokesman said on Wednesday that the nation wouldn’t use the yuan as a tool to deal with trade dispute.
Gao Feng, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said at a briefing Thursday that he had no details regarding any MoU being discussed with the U.S. He also said that he couldn’t offer any information on the results of the trade talks until the current round ends.
Reuters earlier reported that U.S. and Chinese officials were discussing language on six memorandums of understanding that would resolve the trade war’s most contentious issues, Bloomberg adds.