Trump says he will meet China Vice-Premier Liu He on Friday

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2019

But the atmosphere for the high-stakes parley was shifting rapidly.

US President Donald Trump said he will meet Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He on Friday (Oct 11) as the two nations negotiate a possible trade agreement in Washington.

White House officials soon responded to the report, however, dismissing any rumors that Liu had plans to leave Washington early and assuaging some of the fears.

This is the 13th round of talks between the two sides and the world's two biggest economies are deadlocked over United States allegations that China steals technology and pressures foreign companies to hand over trade secrets as part of a sharp-elbowed drive to become a world leader in advanced industries such as robotics and self-driving cars.

The new signs of comity were an abrupt improvement after a week in which Washington blitzed Beijing with aggressive policy measures and talks appeared headed for a dead end, just days before United States duties on $250 billion in Chinese imports are due to rise. On Wall Street stocks moved higher on hopes that there would be a breakthrough in the dispute.

Under Trump, the United States has slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of Chinese imports and is planning to hit another $160 billion December 15.

Speculation has instead focused on the possibility the two sides will seek to seal an incremental deal this week as a confidence-building measure.

China is willing to reach agreement on matters both sides care about.

"I think that could lead to a decision by the USA administration to not put forth a tariff rate hike on October 15", Brilliant said in a conference call, which followed a meeting Wednesday between Liu and senior Chamber officials, according to media reports.

The US Treasury in August branded China a currency manipulator, accusing Beijing of deliberately weakening the RMB to gain an unfair trade advantages, making good on a Trump campaign pledge.

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"I think both sides are needing to have a win". Still, there was no hiding the recent sharp deterioration in relations.

Just since Monday, Washington has slapped visa restrictions on senior Chinese officials and blacklisted more than two dozen Chinese firms, accusing them of persecuting ethnic Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region. -China trade talks would yield at least a partial deal, while a rise in Apple's shares lifted the technology sector.

But his attitude toward the process is subject to the churning pressures now competing for his attention.

He is as usual engulfed in turmoil, facing Democrats' intensifying impeachment probe and stinging criticism from Republicans for effectively allowing a Turkish assault on US-allied Kurds by pulling American forces away from the border in northeast Syria. Those include laws around intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of foreign technology.

Liu said the Chinese delegation "came to the negotiations with utmost sincerity" and "is willing to carry out serious dialogue with the USA side on issues of mutual concern, including trade balance, market access and investor protection", the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Markets over the prior 24 hours had pinned their hopes on media reports that Beijing will propose a partial trade deal to prevent further escalation.

"Big day of negotiations with China", the president wrote on Twitter.

"In my opinion, China wants to make a deal more than I do", Trump added.

"Every month that these trade talks continue, there's more and more friction in the relationship".

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