Executive Intelligence Review


China-U.S. Trade Talks Are Already On

Nov. 15, 2018 (EIRNS)—Weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are scheduled to address the trade issues at Buenos Aires during the G20 meeting at the end of this month, trade talks between China and the United States have begun again. The two sides are “maintaining close contact” following a Nov. 1 phone call between Xi and Trump, said Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng. He gave no details on the content of the talks or which officials were conducting them.

“High-level contacts between the two sides on economics and trade have resumed following the Nov. 1 conversation between the Chinese and American heads of state,”

said Gao. “The work team is maintaining close contact to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state,” AP reported.

A similar statement was issued by the White House Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, who told CNBC on Nov. 13 that the U.S. and China have resumed contact at all levels over trade. “There’s no certainty that China will cede to U.S. demands in trade negotiations, but it’s better to talk than to not talk,” Kudlow said in an interview on CNBC. Top Chinese economic negotiator, Vice Premier and CPC Politburo member Liu He will reportedly visit Washington shortly to advance informal talks, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, Bloomberg reported Nov. 13.

Also on Nov. 13, Kudlow had strongly criticized one of President Trump’s trade advisors, Peter Navarro, for comments Navarro had made at CSIS Nov. 9, which included a warning that business executives, whom he repeatedly referred to as “unpaid foreign agents,” should not advise the President on China trade issues, lest they leave a “stench of any deal [with] the imprimatur of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street.” Kudlow told the CNBC that “I think Peter very badly misspoke. He was freelancing, and he’s not representing the President or the administration.”

News reports state that Navarro has been ordered to reduce his public presence. Maybe President Trump had found Navarro’s ravings useful at an earlier stage of his negotiating strategy, but not now.