Stories by Bill Bishop of Sinocism

U.S.-China trade talks stall as tariff deadline approaches

In this image, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a trade summit along with U.S. representatives.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks. Photo: Andy Wong/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing this week concluded without any sort of agreement and they will reconvene next week in Washington, D.C. There was hope for a memorandum of understanding to result from this week's talks, but clearly there was not enough progress.

Background: The U.S. team, led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping after two days of talks with Vice Premier Liu He and his team.

China pushes for Trump-Xi meeting to resolve trade war

Illustration of crane carrying shipping crates.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The U.S.-China trade talks this week were constructive, though as expected there were no big breakthroughs, sources tell me.

What's next: Soon after the Lunar Year holiday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead a delegation to China to continue the discussions. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet later this month when Trump is expected to travel to Asia for the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Chinese vice premier heads to D.C. for next round of trade talks

Xi Jinping.
Photo: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images

The next important episode in U.S.-China talks will be Politburo member and Vice Premier Liu He's visit to D.C. next week.

The big picture: Liu may be bringing an offer of more significant structural concessions but do not expect major breakthroughs next week. The deadline for this round of talks is March 1 and it would be surprising if the Chinese side put its best offer on the table so far from that date.

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