The United States and China resumed trade negotiations Tuesday in Shanghai, for the first talks away from the capital cities of Washington and Beijing.
Tuesday’s are the first talks since May aimed at ending a trade conflict that’s now in its second year.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are among the U.S. delegation in Shanghai for the negotiations. Both sides have imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs against one another since the feud began last summer, with the Trump administration and Chinese officials pointing the finger at each other for its escalation.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency sent a message to the U.S. delegation Tuesday, with a commentary recommending negotiators take a cue from former President Richard Nixon’s 1972 Shanghai Communique that normalized bilateral ties between the two countries after decades of isolation.
“In the ongoing round of trade talks, the U.S. side needs to engage in consultations on the basis of equality and treat China with due respect if it wants a trade deal,” Xinhua said.
“However, if Washington still holds the illusion that Beijing will somehow cave in and compromise on issues concerning sovereignty and other related core interests to reach a deal, then no deal is fine. China will always find a way to withstand any pressure.
The United States and China agreed last month to meet again to try and iron out an agreement. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened even more tariffs against imported Chinese goods if the two sides don’t come to a deal soon.
Before the talks began Tuesday, Chinese telecom giant Huawei reported a 23 percent increase in revenue for the first six months of 2019, despite a U.S. ban against the company. Huawei reported more than $58 billion in total revenue and a net profit margin of nearly 9 percent.
“That’s not to say we don’t have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term,” Huawei Chairman Liang Hua said. “We’ll get through these challenges, and we’re confident that Huawei will enter a new stage of growth after the worst of this is behind us.”
While his team prepared to meet, Trump criticized China in several Twitter posts, possibly souring any hopes fora deal.
“China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 — was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now — no signs that they are doing so,” Trump said. “That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through. Our Economy has become MUCH larger than the Chinese Economy is last 3 years.”
“My team is negotiating with them now, but they always change the deal in the end to their benefit,” he added.
“Then they could make a GREAT deal, like in past 30 years, and continue to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before.”