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“China Sends Vice Ministers to Washington to Pave Way for U.S. Talks.”  This morning’s Bloomberg report leads with:

A Chinese delegation including deputy ministers will arrive in Washington on Monday to prepare for high-level trade talks led by Vice Premier Liu He, according to people briefed on the matter.

Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen and Vice Finance Minister Liao Min will arrive in the U.S. on Jan 28, according to two of the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions aren’t public. China’s central bank governor Yi Gang will join the talks, one of the people said. It wasn’t immediately clear which other officials will attend.

The U.S. has billed the Liu talks as “very, very important” while playing down the chances of a breakthrough. Liu will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from Jan. 30 to 31, with about five weeks remaining until a deadline for the U.S. to escalate tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The two sides do not appear close to agreement on a wide range of disputes, from China’s handling of intellectual property to the imbalance in goods flows between the two nations. China’s commerce, finance and foreign affairs ministries, as well as the central bank, didn’t immediately respond to faxed requests for comment on the trip.

While no signs of a deal are evident yet, I sense both sides want to announce a phased reduction in trade tensions by the March 2 deadline for additional tariffs.

“Kudlow Signals White House Seeks Like-Minded Fed Nominees.”  Last night’s Wall Street Journal article led with:

WASHINGTON—A top White House economic adviser said Thursday President Trump will seek to fill two Federal Reserve Board vacancies with nominees who don’t believe a rapidly expanding economy has to fuel faster inflation.

“The White House wants highly capable, competent people who understand that you can have strong economic growth without higher inflation,” White House National Economic Council head Lawrence Kudlow told reporters.

He said surges in the economy’s productive capacity mean that more people can work at higher wages without causing inflation to pick up.

President Trump’s schedule (EST):

12:00 PM:  Daily intelligence briefing;

12:30 PM:  Lunch with Secretary of State Pompeo;

1:45 PM:  Discusses economic growth with the nation’s mayors; and

2:45 PM:  Roundtable with Hispanic pastors.

Democrats will roll out their border security plan at 9:15 AM today.  Look for over $5.7 b. for enhanced border security without The Wall.

“Senators negotiate in hopes of ending shutdown as dueling plans fail.”  Last night’s Washington Post article led with:

Senators on Thursday embarked on fresh behind-the-scenes negotiations to end the longest-

ever government shutdown, and House Democrats struggled to finalize a new border security plan, after the failure of two competing Senate bills forced renewed efforts to find some other way out.

It was unclear, though, whether any of the activity would yield a solution, as the fundamental dynamics that produced the shutdown remained unchanged: President Trump’s demand for new funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall, and Democrats’ refusal to give it to him.

Political Insider

About Pete Davis

Pete Davis

Pete Davis advises Wall Street money managers on Washington, DC policy developments that affect the financial markets. Visit his website here daviscapitalinvestmentideas.yolasite.com.

Articles by Pete Davis

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