U.S.-China trade talks: Where do they go from here?

/ CBS/AP

China celebrates 40 years of economic reforms

Beijing – The U.S. and China gave no indication of their next step after wrapping up talks aimed at resolving a tariff fight that threatens to chill global growth.

The two sides will "maintain close contact," China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday. But they announced no agreements or date for meeting again during the 90-day truce declared on Dec. 1 by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in their fight over Beijing's technology ambitions.

That uncertainty dampened investor sentiment. Stock markets in Germany, France, Japan and China fell back after rising Wednesday, following Trump's comment on Twitter that the talks were "going well!"

Negotiators focused on China's pledge to buy a "substantial amount" of American agricultural, energy, manufactured goods and other products and services, the U.S. Trade Representative said.

However, a USTR statement emphasized U.S. insistence on "structural changes" in Chinese technology policy, market access, protection of foreign patents and copyrights and cybertheft of trade secrets. It gave no sign of progress in those areas.

It also said the negotiations dealt with the need for "ongoing verification and effective enforcement." That reflects American frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments.

A Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng, said the talks "enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for addressing each other's concerns."

Pushing China to change

President Trump hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Washington also wants changes in an array of areas including the ruling Communist Party's initiatives for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics, artificial intelligence and other industries.

American leaders worry those plans might erode U.S. industrial leadership. Chinese leaders see them as a path to prosperity and global influence, and are reluctant to abandon them.

The two sides might be moving toward a "narrow agreement," but "U.S. trade hawks" want to "limit the scope of that agreement and keep the pressure up on Beijing," Eurasia Group analysts Michael Hirson, Jeffrey Wright and Paul Triolo said in a report.

"The risk of talks breaking down remains significant," they wrote.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed optimism to Fox Business Network. She said Wednesday the timing was unclear, but the two sides are moving toward "more balanced and reciprocal" trade.

"Quick political win"

Beijing has tried to mollify Washington and other trading partners by promising to buy more of their goods and open its industries wider to foreign competitors. Mr. Trump has complained repeatedly about the U.S. trade deficit with China, which last year likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion.

A report from Height Analytics said "The focus on near term ag and energy purchases also reflects Trump's need for a quick political win, and bolsters our view that China can successfully buy goodwill with these one off concessions to potentially keep talks going past March 1."

Economists say the 90-day window is too short to resolve all the conflicts between the biggest and second-biggest global economies.

"We can confidently say that enough progress was made that the discussions will continue at a higher level," said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council. "That is very positive."

But that doesn't necessarily mean a full agreement will be reached by the March deadline. BNP Paribas Asset Management put the odds of the talks "continuing beyond March with no further tariff escalation" at 70 percent. It also warned that "rising costs to US firms, a cooling economy and falling equity markets suggest that US leverage in negotiations may not be as high as the President had thought."

Rushing to fill orders

Chinese exports to the U.S. have held up despite tariff increases, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit. Forecasters expect American orders to slump this year.

China has imposed penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for U.S. companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

U.S. companies want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies. Those include subsidies and other favors for high-tech and state-owned industry, rules on technology licensing and preferential treatment of domestic suppliers in government procurement.

Beijing is unhappy with U.S. export curbs on "dual use" technology with possible military applications. Chinese officials said their companies are treated unfairly in U.S. national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though almost all deals are approved unchanged.

This week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.

First published on January 10, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

U.S.-China trade talks: Where do they go from here?

Both sides are mum on next steps, but perhaps enough progress has been made to keep going past March if needed

updated 1M ago

Senator wants law that could jail tech execs for tracking users' location

The proposal comes as the makers of the Weather Channel app are accused of marketing the locations of its users without their knowledge

updated 5M ago

El Chapo texted wife about getting AK-47 for daughter, surgery for mistress

Texts show Joaquin Guzman and his wife fussed over their twin daughters, discussed drug smuggling and shared encouragement

updated 32M ago

Government shutdown halts some FDA food inspections

The FDA does about 160 routine food inspections a week but since the shutdown inspections have been sharply reduced

1H ago

Texans divided on Trump's proposed border wall: "It's very frustrating"

CBS News spoke to a border patrol agent who supports the president's plan and a family ready to fight to keep a wall from ripping through their property

updated 1M ago

Federal employees working without pay can sue

Court ruling that it's illegal to work without pay opens door to litigation by 420,000 government workers

1H ago

A Trump national emergency declaration could face challenges

He has floated the idea of calling a national emergency​ at the border to get the wall built without congressional approval

updated 43M ago

Kamala Harris set to toss hat into presidential ring: Sources

California Democratic senator will likely announce her bid over MLK Day weekend, then head for Iowa, the sources tell KCBS Radio

1H ago

What's closed during the partial government shutdown?

Nine out of 15 federal departments are closed, as well as dozens of agencies – here's the latest on what's open and closed in the government

14H ago

Shutdown talks disintegrate at contentious White House meeting

Democrats and Republicans are digging in on funding the president's border wall as hundreds of thousands of federal workers won't get paid Friday

13H ago

U.S. keeps up fight in Syria amid new threats from Turkey

The 2,000 U.S. forces in Syria are caught in the middle of mounting tension between the U.S. and its NATO ally Turkey

updated 30M ago

French court likely to acquit Catholic cardinal of sex abuse cover-up

Despite years of efforts by victims of pedophile priest, case against senior church official accused of shielding him likely comes too late

3H ago

Congo opposition leader declared winner in long-delayed election

On Wednesday, anti-riot police were deployed in the capital, Kinshasa, amid fears that a disputed result could trigger violence

9H ago

"If I'm in America, I'm safe": Why the Knicks' Enes Kanter fears for his life overseas

"If I'm in America, I'm safe. I feel very safe. But if I step outside of America, it will be a very dangerous situation," the New York center said

13H ago

U.S. aircraft carrier returns to Persian Gulf to continue ISIS fight

On the Stennis, there are more than 5,000 sailors servicing 70 tactical aircraft

13H ago

Lady Gaga: R. Kelly collaboration was during a "dark time"

Gaga wrote she had collaborated with Kelly on "Do What U Want (With My Body)" during a "dark time" in her life as a victim of sexual assault

updated 13M ago

Sexual harassment lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein dismissed

The actress was one of the first women to come forward with claims about the once-powerful Hollywood movie mogul

8H ago

Teddy Geiger on teen stardom and finding herself

Geiger hit full-blown teen heartthrob status in the mid-2000s but started feeling like a pop star product and had long struggled with her gender identity

19H ago

Jeff Bezos announces he and his wife are divorcing

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces he and his wife MacKenzie Bezos are divorcing

21H ago

Prosecutor asks for alleged victims of R. Kelly to come forward

"In order to have an investigation … we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forth with whatever information that they have," Kim Foxx said

22H ago

Senator wants law that could jail tech execs for tracking users' location

The proposal comes as the makers of the Weather Channel app are accused of marketing the locations of its users without their knowledge

updated 5M ago

101-year-old inventor has plan to battle climate change

Charlie Bliss and his 81-year-old business partner are known as the thermodynamics duo

11H ago

CES 2019 highlights and products so far

This year's show covers over 2.9 million square feet with gadgets and technologies that have the potential to change the lives of billions of people

14H ago

Mysterious repeating signal in space discovered

Is it a sign of alien life? Astronomers have yet to detect where these signals come from

11H ago

Expert says AI will displace 40% of world's jobs

Kai Fu Lee, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and venture capitalist based in China, tells 60 Minutes it won't just be blue collar jobs that are displaced by AI. See the full story, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS

19H ago

Government shutdown halts some FDA food inspections

The FDA does about 160 routine food inspections a week but since the shutdown inspections have been sharply reduced

1H ago

Romaine lettuce-linked E. coli outbreak over, CDC says

California-grown lettuce sickened dozens of people in 16 states and D.C. and others in Canada, though no one died

updated 34M ago

Police ramp up investigation in sexual assault at Ariz. facility

Commenting for the first time since the Dec. 29 birth came to light, Phoenix police said they haven't ruled out anyone and are gathering DNA from all the facility's male employees

10H ago

Study: Half of Michigan medical marijuana users drive while high

Right now, there is no reliable roadside test to know for sure if a driver is impaired by cannabis

13H ago

How inflammation in the body could be causing depression

Edward Bullmore, head of the psychiatry department at the University of Cambridge, says we need to break down the barrier between mind and body

18H ago

U.S.-China trade talks: Where do they go from here?

Both sides are mum on next steps, but perhaps enough progress has been made to keep going past March if needed

updated 1M ago

Ford's European business getting an overhaul and job cuts

U.S. carmaker says it will focus on "sustainably profitable" models and electric cars, with fewer workers

updated 38M ago

Federal employees working without pay can sue

Court ruling that it's illegal to work without pay opens door to litigation by 420,000 government workers

1H ago

Divorce may make MacKenzie Bezos world's wealthiest woman

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos were married in 1993, the year before the couple started an online bookstore called Amazon

14H ago

Laid-off Sears workers press billionaire investor for severance

Former employees of the bankrupt retailer say it's unfair that they get nothing while execs collect bonuses

updated 13M ago

El Chapo texted wife about getting AK-47 for daughter, surgery for mistress

Texts show Joaquin Guzman and his wife fussed over their twin daughters, discussed drug smuggling and shared encouragement

updated 32M ago

Police ramp up investigation in sexual assault at Ariz. facility

Commenting for the first time since the Dec. 29 birth came to light, Phoenix police said they haven't ruled out anyone and are gathering DNA from all the facility's male employees

10H ago

Sexual harassment lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein dismissed

The actress was one of the first women to come forward with claims about the once-powerful Hollywood movie mogul

8H ago

Parents featured in R. Kelly documentary hope for quick action

The famed singer is accused of sexual and physical abuse

13H ago

FBI flipped cartel tech expert to access El Chapo's phone calls

FBI reveals it hacked into custom encrypted communications system created for Sinaloa cartel

17H ago