China argued that it met its WTO commitments content of the discussions.
FILE PHOTO: A worker places US and China flags near the Forbidden City ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump in Beijing, Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. REUTERS / Damir Sagolj / archival photo  The two days of talks in Washington held by middle-class officials did little to resolve a worsening of trade between the two largest economies in the world, and they closed on Thursday without a joint statement.
Washington held a hearing during the week on another round of tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of imports, expected to come into effect in late September or early October.
And while factions on the US side have given conflicting signals about how hard Beijing is to be hit during the trade dispute, officials from the Treasury Department, which led the talks, and the US Trade Representative, who advocated a tougher line their message, people said.
The talks took place when the two sides followed the announced "tit for tat" tariffs on $ 1
During the talks, Chinese negotiators repeatedly resorted to what they said was Beijing's compliance with WTO rules, an argument that did not impress the US side.
One source describes the US reaction as follows: "We will not go to the WTO if you over-build, ruin industries and steal IP (intellectual property)." We will not put on our hands. "
All these sources did not want to be identified in the face of the sensitivity of the matter.
Washington calls on Beijing to improve market access and intellectual property protection for US companies, reduce industry subsidies, and reduce a trade gap of $ 375 billion.
In a brief statement released on Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that both sides have a "constructive" and "honest" exchange on trade issues and will stay in touch with the next steps.
U.S. Officials, including President Donald Trump, downplayed expectations for the talks.
No further talks have been announced.
Chinese negotiators expressed lack of market access in the US for products such as Chinese cooked chicken, one of the exports agreed last year under a 100-day plan.
"The Chinese are stuck in the mindset that they want something in return, which will not fly in Washington," said another source who was briefed on the talks.
U.S. Negotiators cited the case of Micron Technology ( MU.O ), which was temporarily excluded from selling its key semiconductor products in China by a Chinese court in July, citing infringement of United Microelectronics Corp. patents , (UMC) ( 2303.TW ).
In December, Micron filed a civil suit in California accusing UMC and its state-sponsored Chinese partner of stealing technology.
One of the participants said the talks focused on systemic issues related to Washington's "Section 301" investigation of intellectual property practices and technology transfer in China.
There was little, if any, focus on more purchases of US goods by China. During the previous round of negotiations, in Beijing in June, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross tried in vain to secure large Chinese purchases of US soybeans and liquefied natural gas.
In a late-Friday editorial, the Global Times, a nationalist Chinese tabloid of the People's Daily of the ruling Communist Party, said it was clear that the two days of talks had not made any significant progress.
"An escalation in the trade war between the US and China is becoming increasingly obvious," he said, citing the US congressional elections in November as a major reason for the US stance.
"So far, there are no signs on either side of extending the trade war to other areas, and we hope that both sides can stick to the" rule "and limit the issue of trade," it said.
Reporting by Michael Martina in BEIJING and David Lawder in WASHINGTON; Write by Tony Munroe; Edited by Lincoln Feast