President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers will be in China on Thursday to try and cool the recent trade tensions between the two countries.
The talks will likely center on the US-China trade deficit and the trade of technology between the two countries.
They could lead to a battle inside the US delegation between free traders and protectionists.
A cadre of President Donald Trump’s top trade advisers touched down in China on Thursday in an attempt to deescalate recent trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
The two countries’ recent back-and-forth on tariffs, and reports of more trade restrictions to come, have raised the specter of a trade war. While the US delegation is headed to Beijing in hopes of avoiding a negative economic outcome, the talks are likely to be contentious.
The group is made up of key figures in the Trump administration, including:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro
At a US Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday, Lighthizer downplayed expectations for the trip.
“I’m always hoping but not always hopeful,” Lighthizer said. “It’s a big, big challenge.”
What the two sides want out of the meeting
The US delegation’s trip comes at a pivotal moment in US-China trade relations. Over the past two months, Trump has announced multiple rounds of tariffs that hit China square on the chin. And the Chinese government has responded in kind.
Reports of possible additional actions targeting Chinese investment in the US and Chinese firms in certain sectors have pushed the two countries closer to a trade war that could be damaging for the global economy.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Lingling Wei and Bob Davis, the US delegation plans to go in with a hard-ball strategy, simply asking what China is willing to concede given Trump’s threats of additional tariffs and trade actions. The delegation assumes China will recognize that it has more to lose in a trade fight.
But the Chinese will likely not be easily intimidated. A Chinese official told Reuters Wednesday that the country is not afraid of a protracted battle with the US.
“In the event of a trade war, we have a much greater ability to endure the consequences than the US,” the official said.
The two sides will also likely address two major long-term issues: technology transfers between the countries and the persistent trade deficit. Trump has long …read more
Source:: Business Insider