Oct 10, 2019 11:46 PM

Trump Says He’ll Meet China’s Top Trade Negotiator Friday

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (central) arrives at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Thursday morning for the 13th round of trade talks. Photo: Zhang Qi/Caixin
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (central) arrives at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Thursday morning for the 13th round of trade talks. Photo: Zhang Qi/Caixin

President Donald Trump said he will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He Friday as the two countries hold a new round of trade talks in Washington.

“Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Chinese trade officials led by Liu traveled to Washington for the 13th round of high-stakes trade talks starting Thursday. It is Liu’s third trip to the U.S. since negotiations broke down significantly in May, precipitating a further escalation of the trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies.

Liu is scheduled to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Chinese delegation also includes Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Ahead of the negotiations, Liu held meetings in Washington Wednesday afternoon with Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council; Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of international affairs; and new International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Xinhua reported.

Liu said during the meeting with Allen and Brilliant that the Chinese delegation “came with great sincerity” and China is willing to cooperate with the U.S. on trade balance, market access and investor protection, according to Xinhua.

Liu told Georgieva that China is willing to seek agreement with the U.S. on issues of mutual interest through this round of talks to prevent further escalation of the trade frictions.

The IMF earlier warned that the global economy faces a synchronized slowdown and said it would cut growth its forecast for 2019 and 2020 in its next World Economic Outlook due Oct. 15. The trade war will drag down global economic growth by 0.8 percentage point in 2020, Georgieva said.

Media reports have projected that China and the U.S. would make some progress in this round of talks with partial deals including Beijing offering additional purchases of agricultural products while the U.S. is considering a suspension of tariff increases due next week.

The two sides hope to avoid another round of tit-for-tat tariff hikes scheduled to take effect Oct. 15 and want to “reset” the stalled talks, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing sources who were briefed on the talks.

Although the prospect of reaching a broad trade agreement remains low, China would accept a limited deal as long as no more tariffs are imposed by the U.S., including two rounds of higher duties set to take effect this month and in December, Bloomberg reported.

Positive signs pushed up U.S. stocks Thursday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 200 points shortly after trading started. The S&P 500 Index rallied 0.6% in early trading while the Nasdaq gained more than 0.8%.

Contact reporter Han Wei (

Additional reporting by Lu Zhenhua

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