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Washington and Beijing began formal negotiations towards a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in June 2008. A year later, the highly sensitive talks were halted until July 2013. The US is interested in getting Chinese restrictions on foreign ownership in about 100 sectors — from soybean oil and automobiles to life insurance and other financial services — lifted for US companies which want to expand their market presence there. The Chinese government is interested in getting more security for highly-scrutinised Chinese investments in the US and its massive holdings of US sovereign debt ($1.3 trillion).

In late 2013, China agreed to initiate talks on a possible BIT with the European Union as well.

July 2014

China, US seen to have good reasons to reach interim trade deal next week, but agreement far from assured
Negotiators from China and the United States will meet for the 13th round of high-level trade negotiations in Washington.
China to exempt US pork and soybeans from additional trade war duties, in response to Trump’s tariff delay
China has announced that it will exclude imports of US soybeans, pork and other farm goods from additional trade war tariffs, opening the door for significant purchases of agricultural products.
Trump advisers consider interim China deal to delay tariffs
US could offer a limited trade agreement to China that would delay and even roll back some US tariffs in exchange for Chinese commitments on intellectual property and agricultural purchases.
In countdown to trade war talks, China ready to sweeten deal by buying American goods, source says
China has offered to buy American products in exchange for a delay in a series of US tariffs and easing of a supply ban against telecoms giant Huawei.
Political pressures rolled back globalization before. It can happen again
It’s a good guess that the new global economic system will give overt political considerations greater weight than its predecessor. Countries will link trade benefits and penalties to their political agendas.
US, China meet for trade talks as Trump talks tough
Top US and Chinese trade officials met in Shanghai for talks in a bid to end a year-long trade war, despite low expectations for progress
How US-China talks differ from any other trade deal
The Trump administration imposed new tariffs on Chinese goods to try to force changes in China’s trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices.
Lighthizer casts doubts on China trade talks as ‘major issues’ go unresolved
President Trump’s top trade negotiator raised doubts that a trade agreement with China was within reach, while also aiming to negotiate trade deals with Europe and Japan.
Losing the Pacific: The futility of re-joining TPP
Amid rising tensions in the US-China bilateral relationship and increasing fears of a now-realized trade war, President Donald Trump announced that he would consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
China to keep close tabs on US investment strategy
China will keep a close watch on the strategy adopted by the United States vis-a-vis inbound investments and continue to oppose the use of national security to limit foreign investments, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.