US President Donald Trump 'firm' on China trade demands: US Vice President Mike Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a forum on April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by AFP) US Vice President Mike Pence sa...

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a forum on April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by AFP)
US Vice President Mike Pence said says President Donald Trump would “stand firm” on his demands for structural changes to China’s trade practices, adding that some US tariffs on Chinese goods would remain as part of a mechanism to enforce any trade deal with Beijing.

Trump “remains very hopeful” about reaching a trade deal with China in talks next week in Washington, Pence told CNBC in an interview aired on Friday.

Earlier this year, Trump said the US tariffs slapped on Chinese goods would remain in place for a "substantial period".However, sources close to the trade talks between the US and China said Washington and Beijing had hammered out a deal that would end the trade war between the two countries.

The sources said that the US would roll back a portion of the tariffs imposed on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China has retaliated with duties on some $110 billion worth of US goods.

Asked if it was possible that a partial trade deal between the two industrial heavyweights would be signed, Pence said: ‘We’ll see.’”

“The president believes we’re in a very strong position, we could put more tariffs on if we’re not able to reach an agreement. The manner in which tariffs would come off is going to be a part of the enforcement mechanism and all of that is the subject of negotiations as we talk,” Pence explained.

Pence said that Washington expects Beijing to implement structural changes in its practices in regard to intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of US technology to Chinese firms.

“Forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft are a reality. President Trump has made it clear that things have to change with China on the structural issues as well as the trade imbalance and we’ll continue to stand firm on those,” Pence said.

Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit the US on Wednesday for a new round of trade talks.

The previous round of talks was held in Beijing with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in attendance. Mnuchin had described the Beijing trade talks as “productive”.

He said that he hoped that two sides would soon reach a conclusion in trade talks and the US team would be able to either hand a proposed agreement to Trump, or just tell him that talks had failed.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that the US negotiating team would stick with the Trump policy and keep pushing it on Beijing.

The Trump administration wants China to sign an agreement obliging Beijing to be committed to its reform promises and pledging that Chinese traders will in the future buy a greater volume of products that were made in the US by American manufacturers in order to alleviate the trade imbalance between the two countries.

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