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Aug 9, 2013

U.S., Russia need to make progress on Syria despite conflicts: Kerry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia must find ways to work around their sharp differences and agree on approaches to Syria and other global trouble spots, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, as the two countries launched high-level talks.

U.S.-Russia ties, deeply strained over Moscow’s decision to grant asylum to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, were “marked by both shared interests and, at times, colliding and conflicting interests,” he said in Washington.

Aug 7, 2013

U.S. updates Myanmar sanctions to maintain gem import ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States updated sanctions on Myanmar on Wednesday to maintain a ban on importing rubies and jade amid a relaxation of curbs on U.S. trade with the Southeast Asian nation, American officials said.

President Barack Obama’s executive order continues a gradual lifting sanctions aimed at encouraging political and economic reforms since the military government that had run the country also known as Burma for five decades stepped aside in 2011.

Jul 19, 2013

‘Desperate’ Cuba voyage is latest scrape for North Korean fleet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even by the standards of North Korea’s dilapidated shipping fleet, which often carries contraband and sails vessels until they sink, the recent failed attempt to transport Cuban arms through the Panama Canal was a risky business.

Caught carrying narcotics in Ukraine in 2009, the Chong Chon Gang vessel was already known to law enforcement and was plying waters closely watched by the United States before it was seized in Panama last week.

Jul 12, 2013

Chinese economic reforms front-and-center in talks with U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States won China’s acknowledgement of U.S. concerns about cyber theft of intellectual property and commitments to limit subsidies to Chinese state-owned firms during high-level talks this week, the U.S. Treasury said on Friday.

Beijing also renewed a pledge to move to a market-determined exchange rate for its currency at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, where one notable outcome was a decision to restart negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty.

Jul 12, 2013

China agrees to currency, procurement reforms in talks with U.S.

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – China acknowledged U.S.
concerns about cyber theft of intellectual property and trade
secrets and agreed to steps that would open its financial and
government procurement markets, the U.S. Treasury Department
said on Friday.

In a statement on outcomes of the annual U.S.-China
Strategic & Economic Dialogue that concluded Thursday in
Washington, the Treasury Department also said China had
committed to move to a market-determined exchange rate for its
yuan currency.

Jul 12, 2013

U.S., China to relaunch talks on investment treaty

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and China agreed on Thursday to restart stalled negotiations on an investment treaty, with Beijing dropping previous efforts to protect certain sectors of its economy from the start.

The agreement to resume negotiations was welcomed by the U.S. business community as a major advance during annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks in Washington which have often produced few agreements of substance.

Jul 11, 2013

U.S.-China talks cover cyber issues, currency, Chinese reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials appealed to China’s self-interest on Wednesday with calls for deeper economic reforms including changes to the exchange rate policy and a halt to cyber theft of trade secrets – actions they said would benefit both nations.

Vice President Joe Biden launched the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue by stressing the shared stakes and responsibility to support the global economy.

Jul 10, 2013

U.S. opens China talks with cyber complaints, vow to boost trust

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials appealed to China’s self-interest on Wednesday with calls for deeper economic reforms and a halt to cyber espionage – changes they said would benefit both nations.

Vice President Joe Biden launched the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue by stressing the shared stakes.

Jul 9, 2013

Lawmakers urge firm U.S. line on China in bilateral talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers influential on trade policy urged the Obama administration on Tuesday to press China in talks this week to halt the theft of intellectual property and curb practices that discriminate against American companies.

The letter to Obama cabinet officials on the eve of the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue contained a laundry list of complaints, from software piracy to market and regulatory barriers and forced technology transfer.

Jul 9, 2013

Snowden affair blunts U.S. push for China to curb cyber theft

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – Revelations by former U.S.
spy agency contractor Edward Snowden will make it harder for the
United States to confront China at talks this week over the
alleged cyber theft of trade secrets worth hundreds of billions
of dollars a year.

Snowden’s disclosures of American electronic surveillance
around the world give China an argument to counter U.S.
complaints that it steals private intellectual property (IP)
from U.S. companies and research centers.