“U.S. turns down China offer of preparatory trade talks.” Yesterday, the Financial Times reported:
The Trump administration rejected an offer by two Chinese vice-ministers to travel to the U.S. this week for preparatory trade talks because of a lack of progress on two key issues, highlighting the difficulty that Washington and Beijing will face in trying to reach an agreement by a deadline of March 1.
This week’s planned trip by Wang Shouwen and Liao Min was intended to pave the way for a higher-level meeting in Washington on January 30 and 31 by Liu He, China vice-premier, and Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative.
But, according to people briefed on the negotiations, U.S. officials cancelled this week’s face-to-face meetings with Mr. Wang, a vice-minister of commerce, and Mr. Liao, a vice-minister of finance, because of a lack of progress on ‘forced’ technology transfers and potentially far-reaching ‘structural’ reforms to China’s economy.
President Trump’s schedule (EST):
10:30 AM: Holds a conference call briefing on his immigration proposal with state, local and community leaders;
2:00 PM: Participates in a “fair and honest pricing in healthcare” roundtable; and
3:00 PM: Meets with conservative leaders on his immigration proposal.
The House will vote early this afternoon on its Consolidated Appropriations Act, H.R.648, to reopen the government. The Senate will resume consideration of S.1 and has scheduled back-to-back cloture votes starting at 2:30 PM tomorrow on competing Republican and Democratic amendments to reopen the government. Both votes are expected to fall short of the required 60 votes. If not, then it would be up to President Trump again to decide whether to reopen the government.