Negotiators from the US and China were scheduled to meet in Washington on Monday, May 14th, after months of trade tensions. Beijing is said to be open to purchasing a wider array of US goods and services. President Trump has insisted that the countries reduce the $370 billion trade deficit with China by $200 billion.
Officials from Beijing were expected to arrive in DC armed with a list of items they will offer to import from the US. To meet that goal, some reports say China is likely to offer to increase its purchase of aircraft, autos, natural gas and some agricultural commodities.
President Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that he was working with President Xi Jinping to keep Chinese smartphone maker ZTE in business after the telecommunications giant was laid low by a US action to cut off its suppliers.
The surprise move comes less than a month after the Commerce Department hit ZTE with an order banning US companies from selling products to the Chinese company for seven years. The Commerce Department banned US companies from doing business with ZTE after determining the company had shipped goods to Iran.
Trump is rethinking trade impacts, saying on Sunday via Twitter that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to ensure telecommunications equipment-maker ZTE can do business with the US again.
The two countries are threatening to slap tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s goods.
The President’s tweet underscores the importance of a free, fair, balanced, and mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment relationship between the United States and China. The administration is in contact with China on this issue, among others in the bilateral relationship. “President Trump expects Secretary Ross to exercise his independent judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts.” said Lindsay Walters, White House Deputy Press Secretary.