Trump team has no plan to go to China for trade talks

Clay Curtis
March 10, 2019

Trump postponed a sharp US tariff hike slated for early March as the talks progressed, but both Washington and Beijing have kept previous duties in place.

"Both sides agree that there has to be significant progress, meaning a feeling that they're very close before that happens", Branstad told the newspaper. "I haven't heard that".

Beijing is hopeful about its next round of trade talks with the US, China's vice minister for commerce said Saturday, after revealing that top negotiators had tried to hammer out a deal over burgers and eggplant chicken. "I think they're doing well", he told reporters at the White House.

Even though officials have sounded more positive about negotiations with the United States recently, failure to achieve a deal would see tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods rise nearly immediately and could see the USA impose fresh tariffs.

But the U.S.is pushing China to accept as a condition of the deal a mechanism to allow Washington to regularly review Beijing's compliance with terms of the agreement and put tariffs back in place should it fail the verification.

Trump's walk-out in Hanoi illustrated his non-traditional approach to diplomacy.

Giving rare details into the talks, Wang said the two countries had been making extra effort to find areas in common.

Trump has upended that practice, believing he is best positioned to secure concessions and complete agreements in direct talks with his foreign counterparts.

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"We have made substantial progress on some important issues".

According to The Wall Street Journal report on Friday, a US-China trade accord is facing a new roadblock, as Chinese officials balk at committing to a presidential summit until the two countries have a firm deal in hand. While he has dispatched envoys to China, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to strike a trade pact, he's also stated that a final accord will only be reached through direct talks between himself and Xi.

China will promote stable and higher quality growth of foreign trade this year, said Li while pledging to diversify export markets and actively expand imports.

That's left open the prospect that he'll reject whatever deal is struck at the lower level.

In natural gas, Chinese customs data showed the total intake, including LNG and pipeline shipments, stood at 7.55 million tons last month, which was down from January, when China imported 9.81 million tons of natural gas, but up on February 2018, by 8.8 percent.

The trade slump has added to pressure on Chinese leaders to make peace with Washington in their tariff fight over Beijing's technology ambitions.

China economist Chang Liu of Capital Economics in London told VOA that the drop in Chinese exports is due, at least in part, to the tariffs. "This idea of a quick deal just to get a pop in the stock market, I just want to strenuously disagree", Kudlow said. "We don't see that changing", he said.

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