US, China Hold Positive Talks On Trade

It looks like the trade war between China and the US is thawing. Positive signs have emerged from ongoing meetings between the two countries.

US and Chinese officials meeting this week in Beijing have agreed to extend trade talks until Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the office of the US Trade Representative.

It's a new sign that talks are moving in a positive direction as officials from the two sides meet face to face for the first time since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed in December to resume talks.

China's Commerce Ministry said ahead of the meeting that it would last only two days.

The Trump administration, in its own announcement regarding the US delegation, did not mention how long the visit would last, saying only that talks between the two countries were "beginning Monday."

A person familiar with the matter said negotiators from the world's two largest economies needed more time to discuss issues that were part of the agenda,

On Tuesday, China also announced it would allow imports of five new varieties of genetically modified crops, a decision that would let more American farmers sell more biotech seeds to China.

The decision included long-awaited approvals by US farmers, including corn and soybeans produced by DowDupont and BASF.

"The approval of the seeds is a big deal," said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council. "It allows the seed companies, farmers and traders greater transparency. Hopefully, this also implies that in the future, there will be a more predictable process."

This week's talks, the first at the staff level, appear to have made continued progress on additional Chinese purchases and greater market access, while leaving tougher issues aside.

The talks have set a conciliatory tone.