China’s Vice Premier Liu He to Visit Washington at End of Month to Continue Trade Talks

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington on January 30-31, in connection with further discussions to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Vice Premier Liu is expected to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Liu is a key economic advisor to President Xi Jinping and is leading the Chinese delegation in talks with the United States.

This next round of talks follows last week’s talks between mid-level officials in Beijing that reportedly focused on increasing Chinese purchases of U.S. exports, intellectual property protection, and forced technology transfers among other issues. Liu made a surprise appearance on the first day, and negotiators from both the U.S. and China expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached.

Last Thursday Trump confirmed that he would not attend the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos, Switzerland, due to the ongoing partial government shutdown. Some argue his cancelation will prevent a potential meeting in Davos between Mr. Trump and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, which could jumpstart trade negotiations. But some commentators see this missed meeting as positive, based on their view that a personality clash between the two men could stifle talks.

The upcoming negotiations are a part of a temporary trade truce agreed upon by Trump and Xi during their meeting in Argentina on December 1. Under that agreement, the U.S. temporarily suspended planned tariff increases on $200 billion of Chinese goods until March 2.