US China Trade Talks
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in China (Photo: Reuters / Ng Han Guan)

The meeting between the US and Chinese trade negotiators in China has just concluded, marking the official restarting of trade talks since its all crumbled back in May. According to reports citing sources close to the meetings, the talks apparently had very little progress, but both parties did agree to meet again in September.

The plan to meet again in September has been seen by some as an unnecessary move that just prolongs the already year-long trade war between both nations.

Both China and the United States are already standing on a very uneasy truce, which was implemented after US President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the recently held G20 meeting in Osaka last month.

The talks held this week was the first face-to-face meeting between both countries' negotiating teams since the G20 summit. The White House issued a statement revealing that the meetings in Shanghai were apparently very "constructive." China's Commerce Ministry also echoed the same sentiments revealing that there were a lot of things that were discussed during the sit-down meeting.

Unfortunately, neither the US nor China revealed that any substantial agreements or commitments were made during the meeting. Both countries also did not elaborate any goodwill gestures towards one another, which would have been a good sign that the talks actually amounted to something.

According to reports citing people familiar with the talks, both countries apparently discussed implemented possible measure to pave the way for more talks in the future.

One of the topics that were discussed included China's purchase of US products such as pork, ethanol, soybeans, and other commodities. In return, the US offered to relax its restrictions, particularly its trade restrictions on sales going to the Chinese tech firm Huawei.

Agreeing to meet again in September was reportedly intentional as the one-month leeway is meant to give each side time to assess their commitments. Attending the meeting in China were US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Along with other delegates, the US party spent half a day to meet with their counterparts, which was followed by a working dinner in Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel.

Since the trade talks between two of the world's largest economies had halted, both countries have imposed tariffs on one other costing businesses billions of dollars.

The levies effectively disrupted global supply chains, which then eventually trickled down to the tech sector. According to the International Monetary Fund, the trade war between both nations has managed to shave off at least 0.2 percent of the global output.