US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP

US demand that China commits to reforms in writing threatens to scupper trade talks

  • Washington refuses to accept verbal assurances but China is reluctant to make further structural reforms
  • Some government advisers in Beijing believe it would be better to accept higher tariffs than make ‘suicidal’ changes to country’s economic model

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer (left), US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Photo: AP
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