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  • President Donald Trump at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S. Oct. 10, 2019.

    President Donald Trump at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S. Oct. 10, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 October 2019

"They want to make a deal, but do I?," Trump tweeted a few minutes after high-level negotiations began.

The U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday opted to feed the suspense before the start of a new round of trade talks with China, although he announced that he will meet the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Friday.

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"Big day of negotiations with China... They want to make a deal, but do I?," Trump tweeted a few minutes after negotiators from both countries entered a high-level meeting.

The Trump-Liu appointment will take place just a week before a new rise in U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports enters into force on Oct. 15 and when Washington has redoubled pressure on Beijing with sanctions against Chinese officials and companies.

"The two sides will look to build on the deputy-level talks of the past weeks," the White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, adding that discussions will include "forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, agriculture and enforcement."

Unlike the attitude adopted by Trump, China's official representatives indicated more willingness to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement.

"The Chinese side came with great sincerity, willing to cooperate with the U.S. on the trade balance, market access and investor protection," Liu said on Thursday.

U.S. Foreign Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Vice Premier Liu are on the negotiating table.

They will talk in the middle of a new countdown that give that another increase in tariffs, from 25 percent to 30 percent, is planned for Chinese imports worth US$250 billion.

The last episode of Trump’s trade war took place on Sep. 1 when Chinese goods, worth US$112 billion, were punished by tariff increases ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent.

Over the last months, Trump has warned that if he wins the 2020 presidential elections he will be "much harder" in trade negotiations with China. Meanwhile, according to him, the Chinese supply chain will "crumble."

Economic realities, however, seems to point in the opposite direction, as Trump's policies are having deep global consequences.

According to international growth forecasts, released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, projections of global expansion lowered to 3.2 percent this year.

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