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April 29, 2019

U.S.-China Forge Ahead On Trade Negotiations – And Both Presidents Are Optimistic

The White House confirmed last week that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials on May 30 to continue negotiations on trade. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He confirmed he will then travel to the Washington, D.C. on May 8.

In its statement confirming this week’s meeting, the White House outlined the issues that negotiators will discuss: intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement. The negotiators also are expected to continue a detailed review of potential text of the agreement.

President Donald Trump signaled last week that he feels the talks are moving in a positive direction. President Trump event hinted on Thursday that Chinese President Xi Jinping could be in Washington, D.C. “soon” to wrap up the negotiations.

In a major speech last week, President Xi discussed the ongoing talks with the United States, outlining four issues that are of great importance in the talks, and pledging to work on the issues that the Trump administration has raised.

As the South China Morning Post explained, “During the speech, Xi promised the yuan would not be devalued, he pledged greater market access, improved protection of intellectual property, and better implementation of China’s opening-up policies.” The Morning Post noted, “It was a message analysts say was aimed at the United States.” Stay tuned to Connecting the Dots for an update on these ongoing negotiations.