lucky-photographer/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The stock market dipped for the fourth day at closing in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on China and as negotiators have their final round of trade negotiations in Washington.
Trump’s top trade negotiators, U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, met with their Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He for a meeting and working dinner that kicked off at 5 pm on Thursday.
Initially, a 100-person team from China was expected to travel to the nation’s capital on Wednesday, but the Chinese were shaken by Trump’s tweets and the talks were delayed by a day.
Administration officials were cautious about characterizing the meetings as the high stakes negotiations are still underway, but they are expected to meet again on Friday morning to continue discussions. **expecting to hear more from admin officials later tonight**
The meeting comes on the heels of the president unexpectedly announcing plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods – ranging from textiles to chemicals –from 10% to 25%. The dramatic rise in tariffs goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
China’s Commerce Ministry said Wednesday that Beijing will retaliate if the U.S. actually imposes the tariffs.
“The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world,” the ministry said. “The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the US tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures.”
At a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, the president accused the Chinese of “cheating our workers and stealing their jobs.”
He added, “So they are flying in the vice premier tomorrow is flying in, good man. But they broke the deal, they can’t do that.”
On Thursday, the president told reporters that the United States and China were once “very close to a deal,” and then the Chinese began to “re-negotiate.”
Despite the renewed trade war, the president said he has been in touch with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Well, he just wrote me a beautiful letter. I just received it,” Trump said. “And I’ll probably speak to him by phone.”
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