No US-China Trade Deal until I Meet with Xi Jinping

Virginia Carson
February 1, 2019

"China's top trade negotiators are in the USA meeting with our representatives".

US and Chinese officials are reportedly in talks to set up a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping for next month, according to several reports. But American negotiators are looking for more structural changes in the trade relationship, including an end to China's intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of US technology. If confirmed that would be right around the time Trump is slated to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for nuclear talks.

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.

To stop an escalating trade war, both sides declared a 90-day halt on tariffs on December 1, 2018, at the end of a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina.

"China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table", he tweeted.

He says: "All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved". "Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"

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People familiar with the talks said manufactured goods, a key priority for the Trump administration, were among the largest components of Chinese purchase pledges aimed at significantly reducing the USA trade deficit with China.

Trump has not yet directly involved himself in the current round of trade talks with the Chinese delegation, but assured his followers that so far things had gone well.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who heads the Chinese negotiating team, is scheduled to meet with Trump in the Oval Office later Thursday following the talks' conclusion.

The president is seeking structural changes in China's state-led economic model as well as a major increase in the annual value of American goods purchased by Chinese customers.

Trump has threatened to extend the tariffs to an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods if a trade deal is not reached by the March 1 deadline.

The Journal quoted anonymous sources as saying Chinese proposals mostly involved more purchases of US farm and energy products and promises to invite more American capital into China's manufacturing and financial services sectors.

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Trump heralded his steel tariffs on Monday as a'big win' for the United States as his trade war with China came under official review by governing organization for global trade.

And he has emerged as the USA strongman in the ongoing trade negotiations, determined to force changes in Beijing's economic policies. Both sides agreed to start talks on reforms with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, and opening the Chinese market to USA services and agriculture.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that the USA and China are "miles and miles" away from a deal as he noted in a CNBC interview that the nations have "lots and lots of issues" to discuss.

His profile contrasts with the usual resume of a top Chinese official: he is an economist who graduated from the prestigious USA university Harvard. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have insisted there is no link between the trade talks and Huawei case.

The U.S. complaints, along with accusations of Chinese cyber theft of American trade secrets and a systematic campaign to acquire U.S. technology firms, were used by Trump's administration to justify punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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