>> And China has taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the United States, but we can't allow that to happen any more.>> With the specter of a trade war threatening the global economy, the United States and China on Thursday launched a fresh round of trade talks in Washington.
>> China's become very spoiled, because they always got 100% of whatever they wanted from the United States.>> President Donald Trump is demanding a $200 billion reduction in China's massive trade surplus with the US. With China represented by Vice Premier Liu He, calling for easier access to the US market and an end to crushing restrictions on Chinese phone maker ZTE.
Reuters correspondent, David Lawder.>> Two US officials who are familiar with the talks that are going on at the Treasury Department, have told us that the Chinese are presenting an offer that would reduce the US trade deficit with China on the order of $200 billion a year. The package clearly would have to entail increased purchases of major US export items.
The United States had $375 billion trade deficit with China last year. This would wipe out a huge chunk of it at a time when demand for Chinese goods is rising.>> The talks aimed at easing trade tensions, coming two weeks after an initial round in Beijing, yielded virtually no progress.
>> The United States has been ripped off for many, many years.>> On the US side, negotiations have been complicated by a conflict raging between Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and President Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro. Navarro author of the book Death by China is a hardliner pushing for tough tariffs, with Mnuchin taking a less aggressive stance.
As for the fate of ZTE, that still remains a question. Trump had earlier barred the firm from the US for doing business with Iran, but over the weekend said he would help put ZTE back into business fast. On Wednesday, Trump denied he was giving into China on the issue, saying ZTE would be linked to a larger trade deal, adding Beijing has, quote, much to give to Washington.