Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.
The U.S. and China held two days of high-level trade talks in Washington last week, just before the start of China’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Negotiators conveyed cautious optimism but stressed that much work remains to reach an agreement before the March 1 deadline.
Vice Premier Liu He, China’s economic czar, led a Chinese delegation that included central bank governor Yi Gang. The American negotiating team was headed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and also included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Following the talks, Lighthizer said the two sides made progress and focused on the most important issues during the “two very long, very intense days of discussions,” including structural issues, intellectual property protection, and “enforcement, enforcement, enforcement.” Lighthizer and Mnuchin will travel to Beijing early next week to continue talks, and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping toward the end of the month, with the goal of finalizing a potential deal.