China and the U.S. will hold high-level trade talks from February 14-15 in Beijing, according to MOFCOM.
The two sides, led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will have a further discussion based on negotiation made in late January in Washington, the MOFCOM statement said.
The U.S. delegation will arrive in Beijing next Monday, according to the statement.
According to the information released by the American side, Lighthizer and Mnuchin will attend the talks from February 14 to 15; before that, Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the U.S. side in a vice-ministerial meeting with the Chinese side on February 11. The main consultation will be held on February 14 and 15, but on February 11, the first working day after the Chinese New Year holiday, the U.S. delegation will arrive in China, which demonstrates that the U.S. attaches great importance to this consultation.
The U.S. delegation includes: 1) U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who will lead the delegation, and Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish, who will lead the U.S. side in the vice-ministerial meeting;
2) Chief agricultural negotiator of the Office of the USTR Gregg Doud, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan, deputy director of the National Economic Council of the White House Clete Willems, and Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg; and
3) other high-ranking officials from the White House, the Office of the USTR, Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Department of Energy.
In short, it is a very high-level delegation. Many of its members met the Chinese officials on January 30 and 31, and some had even sat with the Chinese side at the table in the China-U.S. vice-ministerial consultation from January 7 to 9. This indicates that in a matter of one month’s time, some Chinese and U.S. officials have met each other three times. Such a high frequency of contact signals that the two sides are entering a crucial stage of economic and trade negotiations and are sparing no effort to achieve positive outcomes.