A Bloomberg report says that two days of trade discussions in Beijing ended with nothing else than an agreement to keep talking. China’s official news agency says the two sides did reach an agreement on some trade issues but also admitted there were some big disagreements on some major issues. The news report says the sides will continue discussions but gave no hint as to where or when further talks would take place. Neither side briefed the media and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left Beijing Thursday evening.
The discord between the two largest economies in the world will likely mean more skittishness in global markets as trade tensions continue. Shane Oliver, the head of the investment strategy at AMP Capitol Investors, tells Bloomberg that a trade disagreement which took decades to build was never going to be solved in just two days. “While a negotiated solution is very likely, it’s going to take some time, and there will be a lot of posturing and near-death moments along the way,” Oliver says. Both sides had a series of tough demands heading into the talks. The U.S. was focused on a trade deficit with China that it says reached over $375 billion last year.