U.S.-China Trade Talks End With No Deal in Sight

The Chinese-language People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said in an editorial that American trade negotiators should “consult with sincerity” and not “make trouble out of nothing.”

Given the clash between the two sides, expectations for the meeting were low. Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said in an email that the talks were “mainly aimed at rebuilding trust between the two sides” and that they “appear to have been successful on this front.”

Craig Allen, the president of the US-China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business in China, said he was also pleased that American negotiators had traveled to China and that the two sides had agreed to move forward with agricultural purchases.

Some American commentators were more critical.

“The US-China trade talks are failing American workers, and the latest statement from the White House confirms that,” Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents manufacturers and their workers, wrote on Twitter. “A regurgitated pledge to buy more ag products and more talks in September? Trump would have ripped any Democrat for that outcome…”

But the gaps between the two sides have not been easy to bridge.

The issues remaining between the United States and China go beyond tariffs. The Trump administration is preparing to decide whether to grant dozens of special licenses to American companies to sell to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that Washington earlier this year put on a list that restricts its access to American technology. Though Huawei has increasingly developed its own technology, it relies on American chips and software to power a broad swath of its products.

Wilbur Ross, the United States secretary of commerce, told reporters during a visit to Brazil this week that a decision on those licenses was “forthcoming,” without giving details.

On Tuesday, Huawei announced an increase in sales for the first half of the year, indicating that the clampdown by the Trump administration has had little impact on the company so far. But the blacklisting is viewed by Beijing as a significant hurdle to a trade deal, and the limits could further hurt Huawei the longer they last.

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