Happy Panda – Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin Meet Chairman Xi Jinping…

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin concluded the second round of trade negotiations in China with a meeting with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Liu He.

Both teams are working on a way-point memo of understanding (MOU). Talks will continue. Both sides extending diplomatic courtesies and presenting an optimistic face.


[White House]  This week, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, officials from the United States traveled to Beijing to continue negotiations on the trade relationship between the United States and China. On the United States side, the talks were led by Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative, and the Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury.

On the Chinese side, the talks were led by Vice Premier Liu He. On Friday, both delegations had the opportunity to meet with President Xi Jinping regarding their discussions. The talks also featured extensive technical exchanges between the professional staffs of both countries.

These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties. Much work remains, however. Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods. United States and Chinese officials have agreed that any commitments will be stated in a Memoranda of Understanding between the two countries.

During the talks, the United States delegation focused on structural issues, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, cyber theft, agriculture, services, non-tariff barriers, and currency. The two sides also discussed China’s purchases of United States goods and services intended to reduce the United States’ large and persistent bilateral trade deficit with China.

Next week, discussions will continue in Washington at the ministerial and vice-ministerial levels. The United States looks forward to these further talks and hopes to see additional progress.  (link)

This entry was posted in China, Economy, media bias, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Happy Panda – Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin Meet Chairman Xi Jinping…

  1. USTerminator says:

    Panda is playing for time. They will try to delay the tariff affect by prolong the talk. They will give a little to plan the idea of progress to further delay the tariff. PDJT should stick with the original time table of March 1. Just tell the Chinese, Yes the tariff will be increase per time table but we will take it off as soon as the trade agreement signed by both party. So take your time…

    Liked by 10 people

  2. MaineCoon says:

    Chinese news release on this event. Panda face intact. President Xi wants a win-win for both countries also. Personally, imo, China’s already had their win.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. WSB says:

    I just want to grab an old hand mower and trim the table decorations. One up. One down.

    Liked by 12 people

  4. Sunshine says:

    When looking at them, I think how miserable it must have been for Lightizer to waste his time with Canada’s Freeland.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dutchman says:

      Not even a warm up round, Canada.
      Just a waste of time?

      I dunno, maybe helped to develop team espri de corps, unit cohesiveness, a “practice” before China, which is for all the marbles!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Fools Gold says:

      Freelands demeanor of “I’m gonna walk my butt right over you didn’t get O Canada but anything but looks and giggles was my attitude. Xi is a cute Panda but needs a declaw job. Trump is more than happy to do the trimming….


  5. cripto says:

    here is the SCMP report that gives few more details, but is closely adhering to the WH read out.

    Here is an article more accurately describing the impasse:
    “‘Like pulling teeth’: In trade talks, China and US said to be far apart on structural changes by Beijing
    China has proposed parallel talks aimed at resolving Huawei CFO’s extradition case, sources say
    Reform verification mechanism could be a stumbling block in ending the trade war

    Here is an article accessing China’s economic risks if the trade ‘war’ continues:
    “Donald Trump’s March tariffs could hit China’s GDP by under 1 per cent – but do lasting wider damage, experts warn”

    That’s a wrap. For now. To be continued…….

    Liked by 7 people

    • cripto says:

      Correction: assessing 😀

      Further bits from the grapevine:
      “Chinese vice premier Liu He is scheduled to arrive in Washington DC on Feb. 19, and the next round of trade talks will be held on Feb. 21 and 22.”

      “Lighthizer feels China’s concession in this round of trade talks has been below expectation. Beijing offered an invitation for President Trump to visit and an order of 5 million tons of U.S. soybeans, but showed little intention to compromise on SOE reform etc.”

      “China is working toward a framework agreement with U.S. before March 1 deadline. China will move forward on structure &enforcement issues. One or two more talks will be held in Feb. A final deal will be signed in a proposed visit of president Trump to China.”

      (Then some snarky bits)
      “Treasury hold an off-the-record meeting with a very few journalists and told them that Trump wants a political victory, Mnuchin wants an economic victory and Lighthizer only wants a personal victory.”

      Liked by 4 people

    • Dav says:

      China knows if they give in to all the expressed fairness and equality they are doomed to a serious if not unrecoverable blow to their strategic plans for world hegemony. Previous poster have it correct – they are stalling for time, as their best best to counter POTUS is handing him an American political defeat.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. cripto says:

    指桑骂槐 (pointing at the mulberry to revile the ash)

    You will have to bear with me, but this is trade war related. Except that the mulberry is the UK and the ash (or locust tree) is the US.

    Several new developments in the South China sea– disputed islands claims and the subsequent militarization of said islands and the freedom of navigation ops (FONOPS)– has raised the ire of Xi Mao 2.0.

    Adm. Phil Davidson, the commander of U.S. INDOPACOM, said South China Sea FONOPS will continue and will include allies and partners, according to the USNI (https://news.usni.org/2019/02/12/41070). He is requesting more funding for this vital mission.

    Also announced, “The HMS Queen Elizabeth, the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, will make its debut operational mission this year with a complement of U.S. fighter jets, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced this week.

    The Queen Elizabeth will carry both British and American F-35 Lightning II fighter jets on upcoming patrols, Williamson said during a speech Monday at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies.

    Williamson said the mission will include a patrol through the Pacific Ocean, where the U.S. has been conducting freedom-of-navigation operations within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly and Paracel island groups in the South China Sea, both claimed by China.”


    China’s reaction to this announcement was to cancel trade talks risking Britain’s chances to access Chinese markets worth billions. China’s Deputy PM Hu Chunhua cancels trade talks with Philip Hammond in protest at Gavin Williamson’s pledge to send @HMSQNLZ to the Pacific

    Coming back to the Chinese saying and a very ancient stratagem (revived during the Cultural revolution to attack Mao) for dealing indirectly with the real target of your anger, by pointing a finger at or punishing a proxy.

    Xi Mao 2.0 in the midst of the trade negotiations with the US, needs to compartmentalize the SCS issues with the US until some successful conclusion is achieved. The SCS is squarely in the realm of National Security to Xi as is the trade war. The two issues are joined.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Since there is so much secrecy on this it is hard to tell much except by their lack of action and the totally fake staged releases for the stock markets. But this leads to my cautions below.

    Cautions up front. With this many meetings and this many people and no real concrete words on any major agreement or segment agreement have been released to date. That is telling. It seems these forever meetings are just to smile and keep both stock markets hopes up. Words like working hard, progress, more meeting, smiles, good faith = extreme caution flags to me without real data progress. Add in the near total media blackouts and only prepared remarks of smiling faces allowed.

    They once let out buying more soybeans but were they really going to commit to doing that? Total silence now on everything. No soybean leaks allowed anymore. Total cover. Smile for the stock markets and keep more meetings going with more smiles to keep boosting the stock markets.

    Is there really any serious movement from China on key issues happening now? No, Probably not.
    If words are leaked out that US are disappointed on lack of China movement on key issues and that is a highly filtered rosy report. They are piddling away hours discussing small details while the large issues remain.

    There can be no real win-win deal. China knows that and Trump knows that. China has been winning for decades and needs to give in some for the US to win at all. This is war plain and simple. China totally occupies us trade wise and we want something back.

    “forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, cyber theft”
    This is the key sticking points as China is totally built on stealing others ideas and propagating them. That has been their business models for forever. It is built into their culture.

    China considers they are in a technology war now and trying to steal and move ahead of the US.
    –> If the US can get the above fixed I will consider that a pretty good deal. That plus no overnight currency manipulation that they do regularly.

    I think Trump wants a political win more than Mnuchin wants an economic victory.
    There can never be any really good US deal until after the higher tariffs are applied.
    China is just stalling now to see how badly Trump really wants this now for political capital.

    Publicly Trump is already starting to say words to reduce trade deal expectations. So expect a deal eventually but not a really good deal. And then they will say they will keep working on better.

    –> I do not expect any trade deal to reduce the trade deficit at all in any significant way. The current tariffs are probably giving us more than any trade deal will get us. China will buy more US goods. The few that they need that they are not already getting from Russia close dealings. But US will buy more China goods if Trump lifts the tariffs. But this will not become apparent for a while – maybe a year or so. Then more meetings once this comes out.

    You will be able to tell how desperate Trump is if he makes a deal before moving the tariffs on up to 25%. No really good for US deal can be made until China is made to seriously squirm. And that is not happening now with the lower tariffs.

    Trump likes to make a deal where both can save face. China will give just enough for Trump to save face without really giving much at all. And Trump will reduce the tariffs so China can import unlimited goods into US so Xi saves face. Xi has been telling China for a while the current tariffs are going to be removed.

    My Bottom line:
    Please prove me wrong Mr President and jump the tariffs up to 25% and force a better deal than I am currently expecting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cripto says:

      I posted this a few days ago (SCMP proved accurate in this instance about the meeting, but at the time they were the only source for the ‘breaking news’). It is the SOEs that is a very big sticking point and finding a ‘mechanism’ to regulate that issue I would say is nigh on impossible under Xi’s regime.

      cripto says:
      February 14, 2019 at 12:54 am
      The South China Post article is the only one saying Xi Mao 2.0 will meet with the delegation. Other news reports just copy this and broadcast it. This is a report based on anonymous sources ‘close to the negotiations’. SCMP has been wrong before. Having said that, Xi may meet with the delegation, perhaps at the banquet put on by Liu He their chief negotiator.

      The issue is the SoEs and State controlled enterprises who across the board determine the buying patterns of the Chinese State. They determine almost exclusively what the centrally planned economy buys. Not a short-term buy like soybeans, or US LNG and energy products, but contracts that are longterm. Not going to happen. The IP challenge, requires structural changes and enforcement that will not be addressed looking at the new laws under consideration on ‘finance reform’ by the PRC.

      Xi’s appearance if it happens, is just a courtesy and PR move. The substance of change is another matter.

      We shall see.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bone Fish says:

    American peasant tax debt slaves … Can Trump Administration hold cost of Chinese import increases under 20% in USD terms this year?

    McConnell / Pelosi … Can we impeach Trump without triggering an orange vest revolt this year?

    Fed / Treasury … Can we get away with printing another 100 trillion into existence without working tax / debt slave peasants of the world abandoning the USD this year?


  9. Jere says:


    When I look at the negotiations going on between the United States and China today, it reminds me of what Japan was doing leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Japan was aggressively taking over countries in East Asia because they needed resources, just like what China is doing now. As a result sanctions were imposed against the Japanese, just as we’re now imposing heavy sanctions against China.

    We are currently in negotiations with China to end sanctions that are devastating their economy, just as we were with Japan in November of 1941.

    So what’s the big deal? Japan could not accept the terms upon which the United States would lift the sanctions. By the the United States delivered their terms to the Japanese diplomats, imperial armadas were already sailing for Hawaii and the Philippines. World War II in the Pacific was only days away.

    What do YOU think?


  10. Shop says:

    China has a long track record of ignoring adverse WTO rulings and not implementing international agreements they enter into.

    The question is will the Trump administration actually put in place real enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance into their agreement with China? The devil’s going to be in the details not the headlines which we know can easily be spun.

    I’m willing to bet that whatever agreement is made China will continue its practice of stealing IP, subsidizing their companies to engage in non-competitive behavior in overseas markets, protecting their domestic market through ensuring that the CCP apparatchiks know that they should always buy only from Chinese companies. China knows that the elites in the west can easily be bought. They fund many think-tanks, media, political consultants, K-Street lobbyists, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See SCENARIO below.

      China will need to deliver CHANGE FIRST
      … with Certified Compliance
      … to EARN the Deal that REMOVES Tariffs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shop says:

        Let’s see how it actually turns out after the headline media cycle passes.

        It’s possible the Trump administration may decide that for PR reasons a deal announcement is better than no deal. That’s why I believe the devil’s going to be in the details in particular what are the enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance.

        The Chinese will say one thing, including signing agreements and never adhere to the tough aspects on IP, joint-ventures, subsidies, etc. They’ll provide headlines like “China to buy $100 billion of US ag in next 10 years” – whether they actually do anything about IP theft is highly unlikely. They believe they’re in an ideological war with the west. But for the past 25 years the west has voluntarily disarmed in this war and goven every advantage to China.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Shop says:

    China is and will continue to be the primary adversary for the West.


    I want to make these broad points about the historical foundations of CCP ideology, beyond the fact that it is important:

    1. Communism did not enjoy an immaculate conception in China. Rather, it was grafted onto an existing ideological system – the classical Chinese dynastic system.

    2. China had an unusual veneration for the written word and acceptance of its didactic value.

    3. Marxism-Leninism was interpreted to Mao and his fellow revolutionaries by a crucial intermediary: Joseph Stalin.

    4. Communism – as interpreted by Lenin, Stalin and Mao – is a total ideology. At the risk of being politically insensitive, it is totalitarian.

    5. Xi Jinping has reinvigorated ideology to an extent we have not seen since the Cultural Revolution.

    Liked by 2 people

    • G. Alistar says:

      And opposed to Xi’s reinvigorated ideology is the small matter of greed. Actually, it’s not a small matter it’s rather the most powerful motivation on the planet. China has tasted the sweet and seductive elixir of money it is quite impossible to go back to Mao’s ideology, even if Xi has all the guns, power and control.


    • JackB says:

      Liked by 1 person


    USA successively RATCHETS UP Tariffs:
    • To give China a reason to cease the “Cosmetic Purchases” and “Stall Tactics”.
    • Until they EQUATE to IP Theft Losses.
    • $50 Billion in Annual IP Theft Losses.
    • $50 Billion in ADDITIONAL Annual Tariffs.

    Monthly Stats show USA’s China Trade Deficit shrinking FAST.
    • Globalist Manufacturers scramble to Source-Shift out of China.
    • Trump EO to Buy-USA makes Manufacture-Abroad UNSUSTAINABLE.
    • Nationalist Manufacturers race to Produce-in-USA to DISPLACE GLOBALISTS.

    China continues to pursue Tit-for-Tat CONCESSIONS, angling for They-Lose-Less.

    Trump Trade Team reminds China that they must produce PROBLEM-SOLUTIONS.

    Trump triggers China to SOLVE ROGUE STATE PROBLEMS to defer further Tariff Hikes.
    • Venezuela
    • North Korea
    • Pakistan
    • … Iran

    Negotiations evolve through successive STAGES as Solutions form for each,
    … with Tariffs remaining in place and growing as needed until:
    • “Fair Trade Reciprocity“ Implemented and Compliance Certified.
    • “IP Theft Protection” Implemented and Theft Elimination Certified.
    • “National Security Protection” Achieved
    … with Huawei and ZTE BANNED
    … from Western World Networks & Telecommunications.

    The longer this takes, the further the Western World moves for National Security:
    • Removal of Chinese Managers and Staff from non-Chinese COMPANIES.
    • Removal of Chinese Technology from non-Chinese PRODUCTS.
    • Removal of Chinese Students from non-Chinese UNIVERSITIES.
    • Elimination of Chinese Ownership of non-Chinese ASSETS and BUSINESSES.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Cripto has the current situation well covered, imho.
    We may get some increased agricultural imports, and a very little movement on cybersecurity and IP, tech transfer and “structural transformation” (i.e., move toward more free market economy) will likely not occur. In fact so unlikely that I suspect these are stretch requests that are typically part of any difficult negotiation.

    Market was up today just because it looks like a less contentious relationship. (And maybe, also, because McCabe’s indecent braggadocio shows that the Russia investigation nonsenses done–good for stability in the USA).

    Is anyone else amused to hear the Demon-rats claim that Russia is our #1 enemy in the face of the still huge and growing Chinese economy?!

    Thank God for POTUS and his strong team. It may be that containment and a slight rerouting are the best we can get–and so far better than anything that the ignorant and corrupt Hillary would have proposed.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So basically China is asking US to do structural adjustment…

    Feb. 14, 2019 10:08 AM ET|About: First Trust Nasdaq Semicond… (FTXL)|
    By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor
      China will promise to make large purchases of U.S. semiconductors and
    other goods during this week’s trade talks, according to WSJ sources.

      China’s economic-planning agency proposes increasing semiconductor
    purchases to $200B over six years, a fivefold increase over current exports,
    to help ease the trade tensions.
      But U.S. semi companies might have to alter their supply chains so that
    the chips export directly from the States to China rather than through
    another country where the chips are assembled and tested.
      The semi companies also point out they can’t meet the demand China
    projects, having exported only $6.1B of semiconductors to the region in 2017.


  15. Ventura Highway says:

    No risk, no reward. Drop the hammer.


  16. montanamel says:

    They only have 2 or 3 more cycles of meetings…I am sure there are many phone/fax lines active 24/7 in support of these actual meetings….
    Moxx Nixx…. Panda is not ready, not anywhere near ready, yet – to sign anything meaningful…

    Perhaps, as a stop-gate matter of “saving face”… offer Panda a “partial deal for partial tariff” …
    ie: Write up and sign everything “agreed to” so far…to include specific, measureable events or actions to occur over the next 30 days time, ie: until Apr 1… Assign a percentage of the “whole” package to these initial items/signing…stipulate that all such “partial” agreements are fixed and shall become part of the permanent agreement as written. so…if it is deemed that 10% is finished, then take that percentage value off the increase in tariffs starting March 1st…. (moving from 15% to 25% is a value of 10 points…a 10% portion would be 1% point…ie: only put 24% new tariff in place, until total package is done/signed/approved… Tariff doesn’t come off until Congress ratifies and approves the Mexico deal too….

    Might they “rush some more items” into this basket at this time…knowing it will save them billions of USD over the next 30 days… There should also be a penalty at that 30th day, if they don’t finish everything…like maybe the next 30 days of trade at 35% … just saying…

    SCS islands are illegal… maybe drop anchor off 2 or 3 and hold some “submarine races” for s#*ts and grins… poking panda thru the bars should “test” the door lock…. Check-6

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. Alistar says:

      Like all except am concerned with this dragging on and on and on. Dangerous as it may give China leverage in Trump 2020 election, low concern. It also allows for mission creep or negotiation creep or what ever you want to call it. Slippery to nail down all the details and anticipate political, economic, and technology unknowns in the future. High concern.


  17. Ventura Highway says:

    Thats the only way to prove you aren’t foolin around. Don’t back down.


  18. Mhf says:

    Meanwhile back on the farm…………


  19. NSW says:

    Not a great fan of the seating arrangement in the top photo, should be folk in the red corner on the one side of the table and the blue team on the other side of the table, to have a chap at the head not good, is he like the presiding judge / referee.


    • railer says:

      Yeah, that sticks out for me, too. It’s China though. They need that image for local consumption.

      Trump put Lighthizer at the head of the table. That’s an image Xi ain’t pleased with, you may depend.


  20. railer says:

    Trump needs significant movement from China or he’ll slap the tariff increases on. He deferred them in December, but he really can’t do so again absent measurable progress. The Nork thing is critical here. I’m interested in how he plays all this


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s