Trump and Xi to Go to Dinner in Buenos Aires Before Acting on Trade Deal to End a Year of Impasse

Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a second round of meetings about trade and other issues over the weekend. The two heads of state are scheduled to hold discussions over dinner…

Trump and Xi to Go to Dinner in Buenos Aires Before Acting on Trade Deal to End a Year of Impasse

Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a second round of meetings about trade and other issues over the weekend. The two heads of state are scheduled to hold discussions over dinner in Buenos Aires on Sunday, before an audience that includes one-time communist adversary Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Parliament president Antonio Tajani.

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced in a tweet that officials from the United States and China had met in Buenos Aires and were “continuing to have productive discussions.”

Sanders said further negotiations would take place “later this month” and were following “up on conversations that have already begun in Washington.”

The meeting comes shortly after Trump and his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, unveiled the outlines of a new trade deal with China. The three-page document details a plan to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China by more than $200 billion by 2030, while also increasing purchases of American goods and services. The proposed agreement, which Trump and Lighthizer plan to deliver to China in person by March 1, pledges China will more than double purchases of agricultural and energy products and “significantly increase purchases of goods and services.” The agreement also calls for China to respect intellectual property and to drop retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods and services.

President Trump has also proposed tariffs on more than $150 billion in additional Chinese goods, according to his press secretary. Those tariffs could apply to an additional $267 billion in goods, which would make up more than two-thirds of China’s exports to the United States.

Chinese regulators approved plans to increase its annual spending on energy-saving and green energy technology by 10 percent to 20 percent. That spending figure includes projects designed to make vehicles, steel, aluminum and aircrafts more efficient, according to Reuters. The United States imported more than $256 billion in goods from China last year.

On Thursday, Trump said his meeting with Jinping would cover a wide range of subjects and suggested the Chinese would be provided with a better standard of living and an end to the constant pressure that comes with the United States’ “most powerful and most respected trade negotiator.”

“It will all be done,” Trump said of the trade agreement with China. “We’re just going to call it a day. It’s going to be great.”

The two leaders met at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last November, and Trump described the subsequent discussions as productive. Trump tweeted during that meeting that his working relationship with Xi was “stronger than ever,” but in the lead-up to Thursday’s announcement, Trump appeared to suggest further negotiations would be necessary.

“Trade with China will be a great deal for U.S.A. and frankly the World!” Trump tweeted on Jan. 28.

A draft statement about the meeting scheduled to be released Friday will stress that China and the United States remain “committed to maximizing the joint economic and trade opportunities that have always benefited the entire humankind,” according to a source cited by Bloomberg, which cited comments by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He that the two sides would “continue to hold constructive talks with the utmost sincerity and determination.”

The statement is reportedly prepared by the United States Trade Representative Office as a replacement for the final joint statement issued by the two countries at last November’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The earlier meeting came after the two leaders agreed to postpone certain parts of their dispute, including the potential imposition of tariffs on additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.

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