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China Will Make Big Demand of Trump

Xi Jinping reportedly wants tariffs nixed and Huawei ban lifted to jump-start trade talks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2019 6:46 AM CDT
In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, President Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

(Newser) – There's a sliver of hope trade talks may resume between the US and China and that a trade war could soon be over, but China has some demands first. The Wall Street Journal reports Robert Lighthizer, the chief US trade representative, is set to meet with his Chinese equivalent Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, right before President Trump himself has what Eurasia political analyst Michael Hirson tells CNBC will be a "most suspenseful meeting" with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Although it's not clear exactly what they'll chat about, Chinese officials tell the Journal that Xi has a list of preconditions to a trade deal, among them the US nixing its ban on the sale of US tech to Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei and eliminating Trump's recently imposed tariffs.

If talks don't resume, President Trump has warned of new tariffs on another $300 billion worth of goods. Both Xi and Trump face pressure at home to stay tough in negotiations, but Beacon Policy Advisors analysts suggest one potential advantage for China, per the Hill: "Xi knows that the closer [the US gets] to the 2020 elections, the more likely it will be that Trump needs to agree to a deal to show his base that he can score a win." Hirson tells CNBC he doesn't think a full trade deal will be reached between Trump and Xi over the weekend, but that a truce of sorts could result. He adds that if new tariffs do end up coming into play, they could be ones that "impact US households the most." (Hundreds of companies have begged Trump to end the trade war.)

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