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U.S., China fail to agree on trade issues, casting doubt on other issues

Flags of U.S. and China are placed for a meeting between Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and China's Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing, China June 30, 2017.

Jason Lee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China failed on Wednesday to agree on major new steps to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, casting doubt over President Donald Trump's economic and security relations with Beijing.

The annual economic dialogue session in Washington ended with canceled news conferences, no joint statement and no new announcements on U.S. market access to China.

The two sides had a "frank exchange" but failed to agree on most major bilateral trade and economic issues that were important to the United States, a senior U.S. official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

These included U.S. demands for access to China's financial services markets, reducing excess Chinese steel capacity, reductions in auto tariffs, cutting subsidies for state-owned enterprises, ending Chinese requirements for data localization and lifting ownership caps for foreign firms in China, the official said.

"China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a brief statement, highlighting a rare point of consensus.

The Chinese embassy in Washington cast the talks in a positive light, saying in a statement that both sides had acknowledged "significant progress" on the 100-day talks and would to work together to reduce the trade deficit.

"The two sides will expand areas of cooperation in services and increase trade in...


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