The Chinese delegates said on Thursday that both sides had "candid, specific and fruitful" negotiations, Xinhua reported, citing the statement issued in Washington by the Beijing's delegation after the latest trade talks.
The White House, in its turn, also said that negotiators from Beijing and Washington had made a progress during their recent meeting in DC. The US administration noted, however, that tariffs on Chinese goods will increase if a bilateral trade agreement is not reached by the deadline slated for 1 March.
The talks covered the ways in which US firms are pressured to transfer technology to Chinese companies, the need for stronger protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in China and the many tariff and non-tariff barriers faced by US companies there, the White House said in a statement.
The two sides also discussed the harm resulting from China’s cyber-theft of US commercial property, the need to remove market barriers and tariffs that limit US states’ sales, manufactured goods, services and agriculture to China as well as the role of currencies in US-China trade, the White House said, adding that the the two sides also discussed the need to reduce the enormous and growing US trade deficit with China and the purchase of US products by China, the statement added.
"And you [Lighthizer] will be going in early February with your group to China to continue negotiations", Trump said.
Lighthizer, in turn, said the two-day discussions with the Chinese delegation were intense, but acknowledged that there is much work to do.
China and the United States have been engaged in a trade war since Trump announced last June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade tariffs, levying duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.
At the G20 summit in Argentina in December, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce in the trade war to allow room for a new trade agreement. The 90-day period is set to end on 1 March.
Earlier on Thursday, Trum stressed that he would prefer a big, comprehensive trade deal with China or else he will postpone any agreement, adding that a final agreement, if a deal is reached, will be made between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping.