Mar 2, 2018

D.C. visit from Xi's emissary unproductive so far

Liu He at the World Economic Forum. Photo: (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Senior Chinese emissary Liu He's visit to D.C. to restart talks on the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue has not proven fruitful so far, my sources tell me.

What I am hearing: Thursday’s meetings with U.S. government officials were difficult and so far Liu has not gotten the U.S. to agree to restart the CED talks, something the Chinese are very eager to do.

  • Liu did not get a “drop-in” meeting with President Trump on Thursday and, as of publication, we were unable to confirm if a meeting was held today. Trump is already in Florida for the weekend.

Why it matters: No meeting with Trump would be a huge snub not only to Liu but more importantly to Chinese President Xi Jinping, since he is Xi’s top economic official and his emissary. To date, Trump has very consciously pursued a strategy of maintaining a good relationship with Xi even while pushing for tougher policies against China. Snubbing Liu would be a significant break with that approach.

The details: The Wall Street Journal has more information on Liu's meetings, which included National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer:

" According to people with knowledge of the event, Mr. Liu laid out a series of steps aimed at giving foreign firms greater access to China’s markets, especially in financial sectors such as insurance. The administration officials countered with a far-reaching proposal, the people said, for China to eliminate subsidies for state firms and take other measures to reduce the U.S.’s trade deficit and level the playing field for American companies. Mr. Liu is expected to meet with the same group again on Friday, with a goal of finding common ground. He may also get time with Mr. Trump, the people say."

Go deeper

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.