U.S.-China trade talks stall over draft deal revisions: sources

China's Vice Premier Liu He gestures to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer outside the office of the U.S. Trade Representative following a morning round of negotiatioons on the second day of last ditch trade talks in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China made no progress in trade talks this week in Washington as U.S. negotiators rejected Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s arguments in favor of China’s proposed legal changes to a draft agreement, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

China last week dealt the negotiations a major setback by proposing extensive revisions to the proposed text. China wanted to delete prior commitments that Chinese laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

In two days of meetings, Liu tried to persuade U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that China could accomplish the policy changes through decrees issued by its State Council, or cabinet, the sources said.

Lighthizer told Liu he wanted China to make good on previous pledges to change the laws, one of the sources said.

Reporting by David Lawder, Alexandra Alper and Chris Prentice, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien