US-China trade talks resume in Shanghai

The two-day meeting begins today but with no prospect of a deal

US and Chinese trade representatives are about to begin their first official in-person meeting since the G-20 truce. Talks have already began in Shanghai today, with this being Shanghai's first time to host them during the trade spat and the twelfth round of negotiations overall.

The Shanghai talks will also be the first time China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan will play a direct role. Yet, there appears to be little will for a settlement even as the year-old conflict begins to weigh on the global economy.

"I don't know if they're going to make a deal," President Trump told reporters last week. "Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. I don't care, because we're taking in tens of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs."

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also told CNBC on Friday he “wouldn’t expect any grand deal” at the meeting in Shanghai.

“Talking to our negotiators, I think they’re going to reset the stage and hopefully go back to where the talks left off last May,” Kudlow said.

China believes it has extended the olive branch by following through on the promise of repurchasing American agricultural products. Millions of tons of US soybean have been shipped to China since July 19, Chinese state media Xinhua reported Sunday. It said many Chinese companies have made inquiries to US suppliers in the past week for purchasing new such products as soybeans, cotton, pork and sorghum.

Now China wants the US to reciprocate. It is pushing to get Washington to lift restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which the Trump administration blacklisted in May at the height of the trade war, effectively halting its ability to buy US-made chips.

“The U.S. should take concrete measures to implement the relevant U.S. commitments and create favorable conditions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation,” Xinhua said.

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