Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

U.S. official Lighthizer arrives in China ahead of trade talks

U.S. official Lighthizer arrives in China ahead of trade talks

"If we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while", Trump said of the deadline at a White House cabinet meeting.

US campaign against Huawei faces challenge in Eastern Europe / WSJ (paywall)"In the Czech Republic, officials have taken opposite sides on how to balance security concerns raised by the USA, and the country's own cybersecurity officials, with the desire for Chinese investment, trade and business opportunities".

Mnuchin, asked by reporters as he left his Beijing hotel what his hopes were for the visit, said "productive meetings". The main delegation also includes David Malpass, whom President Donald Trump has nominated to be president of the World Bank and who has worked to limit the bank's assistance to Beijing.

The Trump administration said the US president still wants to meet China's Xi Jinping in an effort to end the trade war, a sign of optimism as negotiators from the world's two biggest economies start their latest round of talks this week.

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Negotiators from the two countries are meeting this week in Beijing, with US officials pressing China to commit to deeper reforms to a state-driven economic model that they say hurts American companies.

A growing number of US businesses and lawmakers have expressed hopes for a delay in the tariff increase while the two sides tackle the hard USA demands for major "structural" policy changes by China aimed at ending the forced transfer of American trade secrets, curbing Beijing's industrial subsidies and enforcing intellectual property rights. But the two sides are only just starting the work of drafting a common document and are still tussling over how a deal may be enforced, which USA officials have repeatedly called a crucial element.

The United States and its Western allies believe Huawei's apparatus could be used for espionage, and see its expansion into central Europe as a way to gain a foothold in the European Union market.

But US stock markets were less enthusiastic about prospects for a deal, with any optimism overshadowed by concerns about another government shutdown and a diminished 2019 US corporate earnings outlook.

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