Trump to Meet with China's Chief Trade Negotiator

Is This the End of the WTO as We Know It

Chinese officials are resistant to the wholesale changes sought by the United States and the charges against Huawei - one of China's biggest and most successful technology firms - have added to the political tensions. The White House reiterated its threat to raise tariffs by March 1, unless a "satisfactory outcome" is reached.

Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser in President George W. Bush's White House, said the idea of a climactic one-on-one meeting with Xi "plays very much to President Trump's vision of himself as a master negotiator".

Trump also said a final deal probably won't be finalized until he and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet again.

The confusion was clarified a couple hours after the Oval Office scene, with a White House official saying the "Chinese will purchase 5 million MT of soybeans", using shorthand for metric tons.

Trump said he did not think he would need to extend a March 1 deadline for raising USA tariffs on Chinese goods if no deal is made.

USA officials have demanded that Beijing make deep structural changes to its industrial policies, including broad new protections for American intellectual property and an end to practices that Washington has said force U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms in exchange for market access.

The US complaints on technology transfers, intellectual property protections and accusations of Chinese trade-secrets theft were used by Mr Trump's administration to justify punitive tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

'We're trying to work out a new trade deal with China.

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It will be hard for both sides to a strike a timely deal that addresses the most hard structural issues, according to Marie Kasperek, deputy director of global business and economics program at Atlantic Council. China has in the past walked away from similar MOUs after a period of time.

He called the discussions a "very comprehensive transaction". "All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved", he wrote.

People familiar with the talks and trade experts watching them say that, so far, there has been little indication that Chinese officials are willing to address core United States demands to protect American intellectual property rights and end policies that Washington says force United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms.

Brilliant said it will be positive if the March 1 deadline is delayed but significant progress is made. -China trade truce comes to an end, some in the American business community have expressed concerns that many questions remain on whether the two countries can make enough progress before the early-March deadline lapses.

No specific plans for a meeting with Mr Xi were announced, but Mr Trump said there could be more than one meeting.

Seen as counter-balancing Navarro's hardline stance, this former Goldman Sachs executive, 56, supports free trade and offers a more moderate voice on China.

Lighthizer led the two days of negotiations in Washington with Liu, the highest-level talks since Trump met Xi on December 1 and declared a 90-day trade truce.

"The best hope for getting a deal is a face-to face-meeting" between the two leaders, said Brookings Institution China scholar David Dollar. But it will likely take a meeting of the presidents to break the deadlock, said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute. "That's why I tend to think both sides will do something and find a way to keep talking".

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