U.S. -CHINA TALKS: Official statements released after the talks, which lasted a day longer than planned, did not indicate if progress was made on a tariffs battle that has shaken global financial markets.
US stocks opened higher on hopes of progress towards a deal to avert an all-out trade war between the world's two largest economies, but pared gains slightly after the USTR statement was released. US President Donald Trump had earlier on Thursday said that Washington was having "tremendous success" in its trade negotiations with China.
Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen headed the vice ministerial level talks for China, though Vice Premier Liu He, a top economic adviser to Xi, made an appearance at a meeting on Monday.
A spokeswoman for Lighthizer's office declined to comment. -China trade talks ended in Beijing today, an extension by a day of the two-day sessions planned to follow up on the mandate from the December 1, 2018 talks between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, to reach a resolution of trade disputes by March 1, 2019. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 7pc since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month. Following the talks, China's Ministry of Commerce said there were "detailed exchanges" and that both sides would "maintain close contact", without offering specifics.
Chinese exports to the U.S. have held up, despite tariff increases of up to 25 percent on US$250 billion of Chinese imports, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit.
No schedule for further face-to-face negotiations was released after the talks. She said Wednesday the timing was unclear but the two sides are moving toward "more balanced and reciprocal" trade.
"The Chinese have been saying that they don't have any policy around forced technology transfers, but we know at the local level things are being implemented differently", said Myron Brilliant, head of global affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, referring to the practice of requiring foreign companies to share patented technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.
"There has been progress in these areas", he said.
China has repeatedly played down complaints about intellectual property abuses, and has rejected accusations that foreign companies face forced technology transfers.
Officials discussed the need for any deal to include "ongoing verification and effective enforcement", USTR said.
"We can confidently say that enough progress was made that the discussions will continue at a higher level", said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.
The talks also focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States.
The United States and China gave no indication of their next step after wrapping up talks aimed at resolving a tariff fight that threatens to chill global growth.
US and Chinese officials made more progress on straightforward issues such as working out the details of Chinese pledges to buy a "substantial amount" of USA agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services, sources said.
Trump is locked in a stalemate with congressional Democrats over his demand for $5.7 billion in partial funding to build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.
At stake are scheduled United States tariff increase on $200 billion in Chinese imports.
China has also cut tariffs on USA cars, dialed back on an industrial development plan known as "Made in China 2025" and told its state refiners to buy more US oil.
Earlier this week, China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import, the first in about 18 months, which could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease US pressure to open its markets to more farm goods.