FAST FIVE: Trade Talks Update: China, US Working On 6 Memorandums As Deal Takes Shape
But amid conflicting reports about Beijing's willingness to bend to US demands about its currency (on Thursday morning, the PBOC affirmed that they would keep the yuan “basically stable”), Bloomberg reported late Wednesday evening that the two sides are actually working on multiple MoUs that could cover agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and IP.
It is worth reminding that a MoU tends to not be worth the paper it is printed on absent a separate broader deal, which is still sorely lacking.
Reuters reported that the two sides were working on “six broad agreements that aim to resolve the most contentious issues in their seven-month trade war,” as well as a “10-item list of shorter-term measures, largely purchases of commodities and other goods.” Meanwhile, don't expect more than MoUs as BBG reiterated that no breakthrough is expected during this week's talks, which are focusing on major structural issues.
In response to the US's demands that the agreement focus on “fair and reciprocal” trade, China has repeatedly offered to increase purchases of agricultural and energy products to shrink the deficit, and has already resumed imports of some agricultural products.
Beijing has reportedly bristled at the US's characterization of these policies as institutionalized “stealing” of US technology.