The players are seen as likely to give President Donald Trump their individual views on any trade offers from Chinese officials, letting him decide whether to accept them or push ahead with tariffs.
But after the first day of talks, it's so far, so good.
Mr. Lighthizer laid out a long time frame in remarks before jetting off to Beijing. "They can say "we are in negotiations, we're going to suspend this investigation", Cutler said. "Over a period of time, you end up knowing how to deal" with the problems dividing the two nations, he said.
USA officials are concerned about Beijing´s ´Made in China 2025´ industrial policy which they see as a Chinese plan to dominate key high tech industries.
There are a number of reasons for tamped-down expectations from the talks.
"I think the goal from the American side is to get this conversation back on track from both sides talking past each other to China really understanding that the American concerns are genuine", he added.
Ross, the 80-year-old billionaire investor and steel executive, has been a strong advocate of tariffs to level the playing field for USA companies.
The US may also intend to seek concessions from China by threatening to impose additional tariffs on a broad range of Chinese goods.
"Reuters reported on Wednesday that the state-owned newspaper China Daily warned in an editorial that Beijing would "stand up to the U.S.' bullying as necessary".
Trump blasts 'leak' of list of Mueller questions to president
A lengthy list of questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump has been leaked to The New York Times . The documents, which became known as the Steele Dossier, also claim that the Trump campaign had ties to the Russian government.
Was $228K Payment To Michael Cohen Tied To Stormy Daniels Hush Deal?
Stormy Daniels' attorney has filed that threatened defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump . Daniels' latest lawsuit contends the statement on Twitter "falsely attacks the veracity of Ms.
Missile Attack in Syria Left 26 Dead
Iranians have been killed in these attacks and Tehran has now committed itself to avenge those deaths. However, he said that the counterattack would not take place before the May 6 election in Lebanon.
China has been looking to purchase soybeans from Argentina and Brazil, according to officials, and instructed local governments in the northern China farmbelt to expand soybean planting. He led USTR's "Section 301" intellectual property study alleging that China misappropriated USA technology, resulting in threatened tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese goods. The Treasury is now developing US investment restrictions on Chinese companies.
Late a year ago, the government said it would allow foreign companies to control Chinese banks and investment firms for the first time, in theory making it easier for Wall Street to do business in the country. The Chinese side is led by Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping.
Mr. Xi has made it clear that China's state sector needs to be strengthened and has used a series of recent speeches and public appearances to urge Chinese companies to build up domestic technology.
"There's not a unified position among the administration" on how to proceed with trade action against China, Cutler said. The White House earlier this week said it would extend for 30 days negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, all of which were temporarily exempt from the tariffs soon after they were announced, according to the BBC. But Parker says business leaders worry that the administration's obsession with the trade deficit, which many economists say is misplaced, reduces the likelihood of improving conditions for American companies.
The US deficit with China decreased by 11.6% to US$25.9 billion from 29.3 billion in February as China bought 26.3% more of US goods and services while selling 2.1% less to the US. It is also holding up approvals for multibillion-dollar takeover deals being pursued by USA firms including Qualcomm Inc. and Bain Capital.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is among the officials sent to discuss ways to correct China's unfair trading practices, and to cut down on the existing trade deficit. But Branstad has vowed to support Trump's tougher approach to China on trade issues. Majority insisted on anonymity for reasons of diplomatic sensitivity.
Here is a description of the USA team.
The meetings are an opportunity for the sides to exchange their views after the official channel for U.S.
"Negotiating by committee is awfully hard", said Stefan Selig, the top worldwide economic official in the Obama Commerce Department. He holds the most hawkish views on Chinese trade policy, and is seen as likely to oppose a short-term agreement that does little to change the course of China's industrial policy.