A breakthrough deal to fundamentally change China's economic policies is viewed as highly unlikely, though a package of short-term Chinese measures could delay a United States tariff decision.
The U.S. and China are sitting down for trade negotiations this week, and the two countries have a lot to talk about.
The delegation-level trade talks to be held between the United States and China on Thursday will only be fruitful if the former is honest in its determination to preserve the stability of economic ties, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018.
"This is going to be a series of relatively brief meetings with little pre-meeting planning on either side", said Scott Kennedy, head of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The first round of US$50 billion in threatened tariffs under USTR's "Section 301" intellectual property probe focused heavily on technology products benefiting from the 2025 program.
China, which denies it coerces technology transfers, has threatened retaliation in equal measure, including tariffs on United States soybeans and aircraft.
A USA trade delegation led by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin is set to visit China on Thursday and Friday, Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV has confirmed.
"We've got a very good chance at making a deal", said Trump last week.
The White House is threatening to slap massive tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to narrow a record US trade deficit with the Asian nation.
But the divergent USA trade delegation is likely to have differing views on the merits of such an offer. "This will be a short-term offer to reduce the trade deficit".
Additional tariffs on aluminum and steel will also impact China more than other countries. Trump's trade and economic advisers Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow will travel with Ross for the discussions, which will begin on Thursday.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said the delegation planned meet Chinese officials on both days, in addition to U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad, before departing on Friday evening.
Lighthizer said on Tuesday he was not looking to negotiate changes to China's state-driven economic system in the talks, but would seek to expose it to more foreign competition.