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Last Updated : Feb 20, 2019 10:45 AM IST | Source: Reuters

US wants pledge for stable Chinese yuan as talks resume: Report

The talks follow a round of negotiations that ended in Beijing last week without a deal but which officials said had generated progress on contentious issues between the world's two largest economies.

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Representative Image

The United States is seeking to secure a pledge from China it will not devalue its yuan as part of an agreement intended to end the countries' trade war, Bloomberg reported on February 19.

Officials from the two countries, which resumed talks on February 19 in Washington, are discussing how to address currency policy in a "Memorandum of Understanding" that would form the basis of a US-China trade deal, the news agency reported, citing unnamed people involved in and briefed on the discussions.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had told Reuters last October that currency issues must be part of US-China trade negotiations and that Chinese officials told him that further depreciation of the yuan was not in their interests.

The Bloomberg report said the US request for a pledge to keep the yuan's value stable was aimed at neutralizing any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter American tariffs.

Spokesmen for the US Trade Representative's office, which is leading the talks, and the US Treasury, which leads currency policy, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Two days of negotiations between deputy-level officials began on February 19, led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish on the US side. Higher-level talks involving Mnuchin and led by USTR Robert Lighthizer, are expected to begin on February 21.

The talks follow a round of negotiations that ended in Beijing last week without a deal but which officials said had generated progress on contentious issues between the world's two largest economies.

The talks are aimed at "achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China. The two sides will also discuss China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of goods and services from the United States," the White House said in a statement issued late on February 18.

US tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if no deal is reached by March 1.
First Published on Feb 20, 2019 10:38 am
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