Trump sets meet­ing with China’s ne­go­tia­tor

The Morning Call - - BUSINESS CYCLE - By Paul Wise­man

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he would meet at the White House on Fri­day with the leader of the Chi­nese ne­go­ti­at­ing team now in Wash­ing­ton for the lat­est round of talks aimed at end­ing a 15-month trade bat­tle that is weigh­ing on the global econ­omy.

With ex­pec­ta­tions for this week’s talks low, Trump tweeted Thurs­day: “Big day of ne­go­ti­a­tions with China. They want to make a deal, but do I?”

Chi­nese Vice Premier Liu He is lead­ing the del­e­ga­tion in ne­go­ti­a­tions with U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer and Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin. The 13th round of talks be­gan Thurs­day.

The world’s two big­gest economies are dead­locked over U.S. al­le­ga­tions that China steals tech­nol­ogy and pres­sures for­eign com­pa­nies to hand over trade se­crets as part of a sharpel­bowed drive to be­come a world leader in ad­vanced in­dus­tries such as ro­bot­ics and self­driv­ing cars.

Un­der Trump, the United States has slapped tar­iffs on more than $360 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese im­ports and is plan­ning to hit $160 bil­lion more on Dec. 15. That would ex­tend im­port taxes to vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing China ships to the United States. China has hit back by tar­get­ing about $120 bil­lion in U.S. goods, fo­cus­ing on farm prod­ucts.

The high cost of the tar­iffs and un­cer­tainty over when and how the trade war will end have taken an eco­nomic toll, es­pe­cially on man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies.

“Both sides have been los­ing, and so has the global econ­omy,” said My­ron Bril­liant, head of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs at the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Bril­liant, who spoke with both del­e­ga­tions be­fore the meet­ings, sounded op­ti­mistic about the chances of progress, not­ing that Bei­jing has stepped up pur­chases of U.S. soy­beans in a good­will ges­ture.

JOSE LUIS MA­G­ANA/AP

Chi­nese Vice Premier Liu He, cen­ter, with Robert Lighthizer, left, and Steven Mnuchin, greets the news me­dia be­fore trade meet­ings in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day.

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