The U.S. and China started the latest round of trade talks with a phone call involving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
The three senior officials discussed Chinese purchases of agricultural products and changes to fundamental Chinese economic policies during the phone call, said people familiar with the conversation. They didn’t provide further details.
As part of the trade truce reached between Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump, Chinese officials are also considering making changes to the Made in China 2025 plan, a state-led industrial policy aimed at enabling Chinese companies to dominate a number of industries such as artificial intelligence and robotics, said people familiar with the matter. The policy is a focal point of the U.S.’s complaints that Beijing engages in unfair trade practices that put foreign firms at a disadvantage to Chinese companies.
China’s Commerce Ministry, in a brief statement, said the conversation—held Monday evening in the U.S., Tuesday morning in China—was meant to “push forward with next steps in a timetable and road map” for negotiations. Mr. Liu plans to travel to Washington after the new year, people familiar with the matter said.