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U.S. and China Will Negotiate on Trade Before G20 Summit Next Week

June 19, 2019 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet and discuss trade at next week’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that he had had a “very good” telephone conversation with President Xi, which appears to have resulted in a plan for what Trump called “an extended meeting next week.” Trump acknowledged, “Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

At his Orlando presidential rally Tuesday night, Trump said, “I spoke to President Xi, terrific president, great leader of China ... and we’ll see what happens.... They’ve done a great job, but they took us for suckers.” Trump also said he had taken “historic action to confront China’s chronic trading abuses.”

Talks broke down on May 10, after President Trump proposed new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, including items never before tariffed. And the newly tariffed goods have a “much more direct impact on U.S. households” than those hit in previous tariff rounds, prompting a “blowback” which “isn’t something that Trump can ignore,” Eurasia Group’s Michael Hirson told the Wall Street Journal.

In his tweet, President Trump said that the U.S. and China teams would meet ahead of the G20 meeting, but no details were provided. However, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in June 18 testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would meet with China’s chief negotiator Vice Premier Liu He before the G20 summit, i.e., within the next week.

The Chinese also want to resolve the U.S.’s treatment of telecom giant Huawei. Some Chinese officials have said privately, but not publicly, that fair treatment for Huawei should be part of any deal. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, today, expressed muted optimism, replying to a media question: “I’d like to reiterate that, as four decades of diplomatic relations have proven ... economic and trade differences between China and the U.S. can surely be resolved.... If the two sides will meet each other halfway in this spirit, I am confident of positive outcomes.” In response to an earlier question, he confirmed that “a mutually-beneficial agreement between China and the U.S. not only serves the interests of both peoples, but is also the shared expectation of the international community.”

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