US president Donald Trump to meet Chinese vice premier in upcoming trade talk

Mr Liu will be leading a delegation of 30 officials to Washington, US for talks on Wednesday and Thursday.

US president Donald Trump Source: Bloomberg

United States (US) president Donald Trump will be meeting China’s vice premier Liu He this week as the Chinese envoy heads to Washington for the next round of trade talks targeted to quell the trade spat between both countries.

The news was shared by US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, and Mr Mnuchin said he expects ‘significant progress’ at the meetings.

The US has been focusing on agendas such as alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property, ownership of American companies in China, and tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

Mr Mnuchin said those important issues have to be made ‘obvious’ for an agreement enforceable and he noted that ‘there's been an acknowledgement with China that they understand that’.

Other than Mr Trump and Mr Mnuchin, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and commerce secretary Wilber Ross will also be participating in the talks.

On China’s end, Mr Liu will be leading a delegation of 30 officials to Washington, US for talks on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mr Liu is China’s representative to lead the talks with the US and is known to be a top economic counsellor to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Both parties have a month’s time before their trade truce deadline is due. Once that is over, US tariffs on hundreds of billions in Chinese exports will increase sharply if both parties have not resolved their problems.

Trade war bites China

The US has hit a total US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs since July, and China has retaliated by imposing duties on US$110 billion of US goods. As of now, US$50 billion worth of goods is already taxed at 25%, while the remaining US$200 billion which is put on hold due to the trade truce is currently taxed at 10%.

China has been broadly affected by the weakened trade as it copes with slowing domestic demand. It posted its weakest economic performance since the 1990s for last year.

The country’s fourth quarter growth was at the weakest since the global financial crisis. A positive development on the trade talks would serve as a necessary boost to the country’s growth for this year.


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