China refuses to accept US demands on ease curbs on US tech companies

Ahead of fresh high-level trade talks this week, China is not conceding to US demands to ease curbs on technology companies, the Financial Times reported on March 24, citing three people briefed on the discussions.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks starting on March 28, the White House said on March 23.

The FT report said Beijing had yet to offer “meaningful concessions” to US requests for China to stop discriminating against foreign cloud computing providers, to reduce limits on overseas data transfers and to relax a requirement for companies to store data locally.

China made an initial offer on digital trade that the United States judged as insufficient, the report said, citing a source.

China then retracted the offer after the United States demanded stronger pledges, the report said, without giving further details.

The White House and China’s Commerce Ministry did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment on March 24.

US President Donald Trump said on March 22 that the talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute were progressing and a final agreement seemed probable.