US President Donald Trump took to his favourite platform Twitter to say that he will personally meet with the head of China’s trade negotiating team, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, on Friday in Washington.
But Trump also injected an element of suspense, paying his cards close to his vest on whether the world’s two largest economies are any closer to achieving a breakthrough in their increasingly contentious and sprawling Trade war.
“Big day of negotations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I?'” Trump tweeted. “I meet with Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2019
The past 24 hours have seen reports surface that have painted conflicting pictures of the horse-trading happening behind closed doors in Washington.
The Chinese delegation would end talks a day early, after deputy-level negotiations earlier this week between Beijing and Washington failed to make headway on key issues.
US is considering making concessions to China including issuing licences to US companies allowing them to supply non-sensitive components to Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
Washington was considering making a currency pact with Beijing and suspending scheduled tariff hikes on Chinese goods next week.
Trump is set to increase the tariff rate on $250bn worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent from 25 percent next Tuesday.
The conflicting reports make for great drama, but the ongoing trade war is having very real consequences. Livelihoods around the world are at stake as economies get squeezed by slowing global trade volumes, supply chain disruptions and mounting uncertainty among businesses as to how to best position themselves for a breakthrough or no breakthrough in the US-China trade war.
A Wall Street Journal survey of economists released Thursday showed that two-thirds of forecasters believe the US manufacturing sector is in recession. Europe’s manufacturing is definitely in recession. Factory activity in Asia is also suffering.
Beyond tit-for-tat trading blows, the US-China trade war has spawned spin-off tensions.
On Monday, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted 28 Chinese entities including video surveillance firm Hikvision, citing Human rights violations of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang.
Chinese officials said the action interfered with China’s sovereignty.
High hopes that the tension between both countries will be lessened after this meeting.