Senior negotiators of the US (Lighthizer) and China (Liu He) met in Washington Jan. 30-31 as the US-China trade war approaches a climax. Discussions were a accompanied by a virtual news blackout. China continued publicly in early early Febuary to offer concessions to the US on market access to China, US corporate and bank majority ownership of China companies, and China resumption of purchases of US farm and other goods. Meanwhile, the US continued to assume a hard line on China technology development, going after China companies and arranging US allies to do the same. The US also began proceedings to extradite from Canada the co-chairperson of the giant China tech company, Huawei. No meeting has been scheduled by the March 1, 2019 deadline between Trump and China president, Xi, and Trump has publicly declared there will be none by March 1. Nevertheless US trade negotiations will be meeting in Beijing the week of February 11-16. Trade ambassador Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, reportedly will both represent the US, a development that suggests a deal which Lighthizer opposes but Mnuchin favors. Press reports indicate technology will be the central, unresolved thus far topic of negotiations.

On the eve of last week’s negotiators, I was asked to give an hour interview on TV by the Peninsula Peace and Justice center in Palo Alto, California. Topics focused on China-US trade, NAFTA 2.0, and Trump policies in general. That hour interview can be viewed on Youtube at the following link:

Reaffirming my past predictions I continue to predict there will be a deal–but not by March 1–and both sides will agree to extend the discussions until there is an agreement.