Can't make trade deal with China until I sit with Xi Jinping

Muriel Colon
February 1, 2019

China's Vice-Premier Liu He is expected to extend an invitation to US President Donald Trump to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for further trade talks when the two meet in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, according to a US business lobbyist who is in close communication with American trade negotiators.

The United States and China are making progress in negotiations to end their ongoing trade war, but the world's two largest economies won't sign a new bilateral agreement just yet, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday.

The meetings are "going well", Trump said on Twitter. He then added: "Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"

Trump said he was looking for China to open its markets "not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other US businesses and industries".

"We are anticipating no big outcomes this week", said Erin Ennis, senior vice president at the US-China Business Council.

US and Chinese negotiators are holding high-level talks aimed at settling a six-month trade war that has weakened both sides, shaken financial markets and clouded the outlook for the global economy.

The talks were threatened to be overshadowed by Monday's indictment by USA prosecutors of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump, a self-described "Tariff Man", rejected a previous proposal from Beijing to resolve the dispute with increased purchases of USA goods.

The US has objected to Chinese plans for state-led development of advanced technologies that American officials say violate Beijing's market-opening commitments.

Seen as counter-balancing Navarro's hardline stance, this former Goldman Sachs executive, 56, supports free trade and offers a more moderate voice on China.

China's top economic official Vice Premier Liu He is part of the delegation in the U.S. January 30 and 31.

US officials have demanded that Beijing make deep structural changes to its industrial policies, including broad new protections for American intellectual property and an end to practices that Washington has said force USA companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms in exchange for market access.

His goal in the talks is to force the Asian giant to put an end to trade policies the U.S. deems "unfair", especially the theft or forced transfer of American technology, obliging USA firms to form joint ventures with local partners, and state subsidies for industry.

Chinese officials deny that their policies coerce technology transfers.

The administration has already imposed tariffs on some $250 billion in Chinese imports.

Another longstanding concern with Chinese laws is the breadth and scope of the national security review, the US Chamber of Commerce, AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai said in comments submitted on the bill. Instead, the pressure would be on the reduce tariffs.

Mr Trump has also threatened tariffs on an additional $267bn worth of products.

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