Tariff talks: U.S. and China keep on track for deal - Eire

Fears over the trade war and China's economic slowdown have had a major impact on Chinese stock markets

American companies want President Donald Trump's negotiations with Beijing to win them real improvements in their access to Chinese markets, not just a smaller overall USA trade deficit, a business group said Tuesday.

The sentiment of USA business communities has also been lifted by the latest trade progress made by the world's top two economies, as industrial associations and business owners alike felt relieved by the news of no further tariff hikes, and remained optimistic about the development of U.S.

The fight threatens to disrupt global trade and weigh on economic growth that shows signs of faltering. The trade war was ignited ostensibly over Washington's complaint that Beijing had either stolen proprietary technological information outright or had exerted pressure on companies, forcing them to hand over trade secrets. The Trump administration wants China to roll back plans for government-led creation of global leaders in robotics and other technology.

"I am pleased to report that the USA has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues". It cautioned there are "still some differences that need more time to be ironed out".

"We are optimistic to hear that there has been progress on a trade deal and that the Trump administration has pushed back the deadline for an increase of tariffs", said Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at the Toy Association, a trade association for the USA toy industry.

Trump, speaking to US governors at the White House just two hours after saying he would delay a scheduled Friday deadline to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, said: "China has been terrific".

"China has made doing our type of business, which partly involves importing agricultural products into China, more hard every year since I have been coming to China", said one anonymous executive, according to the chamber. "I believe we'll all be celebrating very soon in the United States and in China", said Selig.

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The past rounds of negotiations were powered by the implementation of the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump, who met in December previous year after the closing of the G20 summit in Argentina.

The talks "sent a positive signal to the world" and "laid the foundation for the final agreement", the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said.

China sees the trade frictions as both challenges and opportunities.

The Shanghai Composite index added 0.4 percent to 2,973.71, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5 percent to 21,421.31.

Chamber president Alan Beebe said 47 percent of members wanted the USA government to "advocate more strongly" for a level playing field for US businesses in the world's second-largest economy.

Even if the two sides reach a compromise on trade, relations also are strained by disputes over technology, investment and geopolitics. Europe, Japan and other trading partners echo USA complaints those violate Beijing's free-trade obligations. Three-fourths expect the relationship to further deteriorate or remain the same this year.

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