U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese vice premier Liú Hè 刘鹤 are finally in the same room. These top trade officials met on Wednesday in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for the start of two days of talks.
Whether that helps either the U.S. or China remains to be seen.
“Despite the high stakes of the discussions, there was little optimism that a major breakthrough was imminent,” reports the New York Times.
Trump administration officials have signaled that the negotiations are narrowing around a smaller initial deal that would stave off additional tariffs, but not roll back the duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports that Mr. Trump has already imposed. In exchange, China would follow through with promised purchases of American goods and services and some modest economic changes.
A person familiar with the negotiations said that there were signs of progress on the first day of talks but that it did not appear that major breakthroughs were imminent on many of the big concessions that the United States was seeking.
Or, as Bloomberg put it, “don’t hold your breath for a deal.”
Other news from the front lines of the Pacific Reset:
China’s efforts to assuage American concerns
Huawei and other Chinese tech companies
- Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou appears in court on eve of US China trade talks / Guardian
- U.S. formally requests extradition of Meng Wanzhou to face financial fraud charges / Globe and Mail
- Beijing slams US request for Huawei CFO / China Daily
- The Huawei indictments are the new normal / China Law Blog
“These enforcement and litigation programs will extend to various other Chinese companies. The charges against Huawei should be seen as the first, not the last.”
- China’s Huawei excluded from Czech tax tender after security warning / Reuters via Channel NewsAsia
- Industry minister calls U.S. ban on Jinhua ‘untenable’ / Caixin
- Detention of Canadians by China was ‘retaliation’ for Meng arrest: former U.S. envoy to China / Global News (Canada)
- The U.S. wants to halt Huawei’s global advance. It may be too late / CNN
Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage: