President Donald Trump, decided to feed the suspense coinciding with the start of a new round of trade talks with China, as he was first skeptical about the possibility of an agreement and later optimistic, before a meeting tomorrow, this Friday, with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, Liu He, at the White House.
The meeting will take place just a week before a new increase in tariffs on Chinese imports comes into effect, and when Washington has doubled the pressure on Beijing with sanctions against Chinese officials and companies for their link with the repression of Muslim minorities in the west of the country.
“Big day of negotiations with China. They want a deal, but I want it,” Trump said on Twitter.
He then added, “I will meet with the (Chinese) deputy prime minister tomorrow at the White House”.
On Thursday, chief negotiators on both sides began a new round of talks in Washington.
Hours after his social networking message, Trump told reporters at the White House that negotiations with China “are going very, very well.
“Basically they are finishing them,” said the president, who recalled that they will resume tomorrow in the presidential mansion.
The White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement that during the talks “both parties will try to make progress on the negotiations between lower-ranking officials of recent weeks. The topics of discussion will include the forced transfer of technology, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers and guarantees”.
At the negotiating table with Liu are U.S. Foreign Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The dialogue is taking place in the middle of a new countdown as on 15 October another increase in tariffs, from 25 to 30 %, is planned on Chinese imports worth 250 billion dollars.
The last episode of the trade war between Washington and Beijing took place on 1 September with the entry into force of the increase of 10 to 15% on Chinese goods worth 112 billion dollars.
In retaliation, Beijing levied between 5% and 10% on US products valued at $75 billion.
Trump has already warned that if re-elected in the 2020 presidential elections it will be “much harder” to negotiate a trade agreement and that, “in the meantime, the supply chain” of the Asian giant will “crumble”.
“People want a deal. Eliminating some uncertainty is necessary to continue the talks and keep the economy strong, which is the basis for his re-election,” Republican Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters.
Wall Street welcomed with optimism the announcement of the meeting between Trump and Liu, and the Dow Jones of Industrials recorded a rise of 0.53% shortly before the closing, before the new round of discussions and from which the markets expect solutions to a tariff dispute that extends for months.
However, the truth is that analysts are more skeptical given the difficulty and magnitude of the task of negotiating with China.
“Our baseline scenario, to which we assign 50% probability, foresees only little progress in this round. Moderate progress avoids further escalation, but does not resolve conflicts over intellectual property and subsidies,” Mark Haefele, head of Global Investment at UBS Bank, said in a note to clients.
What happens in the U.S. capital will be watched closely in the rest of the world.
The trade tensions between China and the United States, unleashed after Trump’s arrival at the White House in 2017, have profound global consequences.
In its latest global growth forecasts, released in July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its global expansion projections to 3.2% this year, one tenth less than in April, weighed down by doubts about the possible resolution of this dispute, and is expected to lower them again next week.