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US to press China on liberalizing high-tech trade

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is looking for concessions from China to kick start international negotiations on liberalizing trade in high-technology products.

Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters the U.S. wants to resolve differences with China over products covered by the Information Technology Agreement during annual high-level U.S.-China talks that start Wednesday in Beijing.

Negotiations to update the 1996 agreement have been snared by China's desire to protect dozens of new product categories. Some 70 countries participate in the agreement, accounting for much of global trade in that sector.

Froman said Monday it's within China's grasp to get the ITA negotiations restarted based on a list more consistent with what other nations want.

He warned that despite recent progress in bilateral talks, there are limits to what would make the deal “commercially meaningful.”

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