Chinese officials have expressed a desire to update some intangible property protections, open car and financial markets for US companies, increase their purchases of US agricultural products and take other steps. However, they have resisted the Trump administration's demand to make more significant changes to structural issues they say are key to managing their finances and protecting national security.
But the pressure is growing to at least take a break in the trade war, which is set to worsen if the two sides make no progress. In addition to the tariff increase in October, Trump plans to introduce a new tax round in December, at which time the United States will tax almost every product China exports to America. This has caused concern from farmers and businesses, who say that tariffs weigh on sales and investment. While the president and his advisers maintain that the trade war has a limited impact on the economy, they have admitted that these tariffs could affect American consumers as the holidays approach.
On Thursday, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official who had recently met with both negotiating teams said he was hopeful that the countries would announce an agreement that would set rules on how China manages its currency and prevent Trump's planned tariff hike from taking effect next week .
Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, said the two sides could announce a more comprehensive package that strengthened China's protection of intellectual property and further opened markets such as financial services and automobiles for US companies.
The Trump administration could also think of removing the threat of additional tariffs scheduled to be imposed in December or roll back some of the tariffs it has already imposed for more than $ 360 billion of Chinese goods based on the package of offers brought by the Chinese negotiating team , he said.
Officials from both sides have sounded relatively optimistic into this week's talks. But Trump's penchant for keeping negotiating partners guessing, and the on-and-off history of the trade war, has continued to cast uncertainty around the rally. The countries appeared in a deal in April, only to get the deal apart and result in an escalation that has resulted in even more tariffs on Chinese and American goods.
Mr. Trump and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He will meet in the Oval Office at 2:45 p.m.
Lower-level negotiations began in Washington on Monday. On Thursday, Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump's top trade negotiator, met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for late-day negotiations.