US and Chinese officials have made significant progress in high-level business talks, President Donald Trump said Friday, fueling optimism about the possibility of the parties reaching an agreement to end hostilities.
“Good things are happening at the trade meeting with China. There is a warmer feeling than in the recent past, more like in the old days, ”Trump said on Twitter shortly after officials began the second day of negotiations. The president also announced that this Friday he will hold a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Liu He.
The main trade negotiators in the United States and China on Thursday concluded their first day of meetings in more than two months, amid the optimism of business groups to put an end to a conflict that extends for more than a year and cancel an increase of tariffs by Washington scheduled for next week.RELATED
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and that country’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, met with Deputy Prime Minister Liu He and other senior Chinese officials for about seven hours in Washington.
“We had a very, very good negotiation with China,” Trump had told reporters Thursday after the talks ended.
A smiling Liu greeted journalists before leaving the Trade Representative’s Office in a black Cadillac without answering questions.
Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce, said negotiators are “trying to find a way to a bigger agreement” than expected. “I think there is even the possibility of a currency deal this week. I think that could lead to the US government deciding not to apply an increase in tariffs on October 15, ”he added.
Trump launched the trade war against China demanding structural reforms, but the Asian country has said it is not willing to fundamentally change the way it controls its economy. When journalists asked him on Thursday if he is willing to accept a “minor agreement,” the Republican president did not respond and left.
The constant escalation of the tariff war in recent months has agitated financial markets and fueled fears of a global recession. Wall Street rose by the optimism that the talks would generate at least a partial truce, with the S&P 500 advancing 0.64% and the Nasdaq 0.6%.
The mood around the talks went sour this week when the United States blacklisted 28 Chinese public security, technology and surveillance offices and imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials for accusations of abuse of Muslim minorities.
(With information from AFP and Reuters)