US Pushes China to Give Ground on Technology Trade Deal

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US Pushes China to Give Ground on Technology Trade Deal

The United States on Monday urged China to give ground on a deal to eliminate duties on billions of dollars of technology products and said it would use talks in Beijing later this week to push to restart negotiations.

The United States and Europe have blamed China, the world's biggest exporter of IT products, for derailing talks on a pact on technology trade by asking for too many exemptions.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said U.S. officials aimed to use talks with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing on July 9-10 to "make concrete progress toward resolving our differences ... in order to restart the negotiations."

Breaking the deadlock over updating the World Trade Organization's 16-year-old Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which eliminated duties on products including personal computers and telephones, could in turn give a boost to talks on a U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty, he said.

(Also Read: China hopes US will match its words with actual cyber-security policy)

"This is an area where concrete progress would have potential positive spillover effects into other negotiations between us," Froman said on a conference call with reporters before leaving for the Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting.

China was well able to resolve outstanding ITA issues this year during its chairmanship of the regional Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping, he said, urging China to revise its list of excluded goods.

Other issues to be raised at the Beijing talks included intellectual property rights, state-owned enterprises and regulation, while officials on both sides were continuing to work on outstanding issues to allow U.S. beef back into China, Froman said.

China has restricted imports of American beef for 10 years following the first reported U.S. case, in December 2003, of mad cow disease, a brain-wasting condition formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

© Thomson Reuters 2014

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