May 3, 2018 / 9:27 PM / 5 months ago

TIMELINE-Next steps, deadlines in U.S.-China trade fight

May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. and Chinese negotiators will end two days of talks on Friday to try and avert a trade war over thorny technology transfer issues amid expectations that they will not reach a breakthrough deal but will at least agree to keep talking.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs are seen as likely to continue their march toward activation.

The following are key dates in the tense trade standoff between the world’s two largest economies:

Early to mid-May: U.S. Senate Banking Committee and House of Representatives Financial Services Committee are expected to finalize their versions of legislation to strengthen national security reviews of foreign acquisitions and tie-ups with U.S. companies and make it harder for Chinese firms to acquire sensitive technologies. Timing for final passage is unclear.

May 11: U.S. Trade Representative’s deadline for submission of written public comments on Trump’s first round of proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, including electronic and machinery parts, television sets and autos.

May 15: USTR holds public hearing on its $50 billion tariff list. The agency has received requests from 83 individuals and groups to testify.

May 18: U.S. Treasury Department deadline to propose investment restrictions to address China’s state acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies under the “Section 301” intellectual property probe.

May 22: USTR deadline for submission of public hearing rebuttal comments, ending the tariff comment period.

May 22: End of 60-day consultation period for the United States to try and settle World Trade Organization complaint against China over technology licensing requirements. The United States could then request dispute settlement panel to adjudicate.

June 1: New deadline for Canada, Mexico and European Union to reach agreements with USTR on permanent exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs.

June 9: End of 60-day consultation period for China to try and settle WTO complaint against the United States over its steel and aluminum tariffs. China could then request a dispute settlement panel to adjudicate.

Early to mid-June: Following analysis of public comments on tariffs, USTR may revise its tariff list. Sometime after that, the tariffs will be ready for activation, but Trump will decide whether to impose them.

Unknown: USTR will reveal its next threatened tariff list of $100 billion worth of additional Chinese goods to levy. USTR is expected to go through another 60-day comment period with a public hearing before activating these tariffs.

July 1: U.S. “fast track” trade negotiating authority law expires. The Trump administration intends to seek a three-year extension, which is automatic unless Congress blocks it with a disapproval vote.

Second half of 2018: WTO dispute settlement panel is expected to notify parties of its decision in China’s “market economy” case. Beijing has challenged the European Union’s decision to continue treating China as a non-market economy in determining anti-dumping duties. Publication of the decision, which could shake the WTO’s foundations, could come months later. The United States also treats China as a non-market economy and supports the EU’s position. (Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Leslie Adler)

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