Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer are currently leading another round of trade negotiations in China. Recent reporting indicates the U.S. team will meet with Chairman Xi Jinping at the conclusion of this round of discussions.
At the conclusion of the previous round of discussions in Washington DC, President Trump invited the Chinese delegation to the Oval Office. The surface panda-face diplomacy appears to be based on reciprocity; however, there is no indication President Trump and Chairman Xi are making any efforts for a meeting.
BEIJING – China’s President Xi Jinping “is scheduled to meet” key members of the US trade talks delegation, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in Beijing on Friday, according to sources close to the matter.
“Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday,” one source briefed on the arrangements told the South China Morning Post.
A second source said Xi was expected to meet the US delegation in Beijing this week, although the specific time had not been confirmed.
In addition, a banquet would be hosted for the US delegation in “a Chinese cuisine restaurant” in downtown Beijing later this week, with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He expected to toast the US delegates, the first source added.
[…] Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he would consider pushing back the March 1 deadline for trade negotiations with China if both sides were close to making a deal.
He said he could see himself “letting that slide for a little while”, referring to the looming deadline, at which point US tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase from 10 to 25 per cent. “But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that,” he added. (read more)