The US delegation also includes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, assistant to the president for economic policy Larry Kudlow and assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy Peter Navarro.
The two sides exchanged views on a range of issues, including expanding USA exports to China, bilateral services trade and investment, protection of intellectual property rights, and tariff and nontariff measures, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday. They met with a Chinese team led by Liu He, President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser.
China held a $375.7 billion trade surplus in goods and a $38.5 billion trade deficit in services with the U.S.in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing in Beijing: "The outcome should be mutually beneficial and Win-Win". "Let's wait and see", she said Thursday, announcing that the talks had begun.
"The US wants greater access to China's market, but it should not use trade actions as a battering ram to force China to open its doors". They said the deficit was a result of structural problems such as America's poor infrastructure, United States tax policies and consumers' low savings rates that made it harder for the country to compete globally.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to levy new tariffs on US$150 billion of Chinese imports while Beijing shot back with a list of US$50 billion in targeted US goods. "The Made in China 2025 industrial policy concerns China's long-term development plan, so the overall direction won't change at all", he told the news agency AP.
But the diverse United States trade delegation is likely to have differing views among its members on the merits of any deal China might be willing to make.
The two sides agreed that a sound and stable China-U.S. trade relationship is crucial for both, and they are committed to resolving relevant economic and trade issues through dialogue and consultation. "But if they pull out a gun and point it at us, then they can finish their tea and leave", he told the British business daily Financial Times (FT).
"If the US delegation comes to China believing Beijing's resolve to open wider to the outside world is a matter of expediency under pressure from Washington, it will likely mean a lot of time is wasted setting the record straight".
Soybeans were China's largest import from the U.S. a year ago, worth US$14 billion. "I don't think it can because the fear of China now is fundamentally different".