Compelling Chinese firms to buy American could increase U.S. vulnerabilities

Trump set to announce plans for summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reach an end to trade war

Washington and Beijing have stated they are trying to reach a tentative trade deal agreement by the end of Mr. Liu's visit, with a signing ceremony between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China later this month. The current round of talks is scheduled to go through Friday and possibly longer.

Trump is scheduled to meet in the Oval Office at 4:30 pm with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who leads Beijing's negotiating team.

Trump's meeting with Liu is occurring just days after a Chinese woman, Yujing Zhang, was arrested trying to enter Trump's Atlantic oceanfront retreat in Florida, detained after she entered the compound claiming she was there for what turned out to be a non-existent event. America's trade deficit with China has been one of Trump's chronic complaints, although many economists say a bilateral trade gap is relatively insignificant.

Mr Lighthizer is insisting on Washington's right to impose punitive tariffs on China if there is a violation of the agreement, and a guarantee that China would not retaliate with its own tariffs.

Currently, the biggest negotiating issue is reported to be the removal of USA sanctions, which the Chinese would like to take place as soon as a deal is signed, while U.S. negotiators favour a phased withdrawal in order to ensure that Beijing complies with the deal.

A major sticking point as the talks narrow to what many are hoping becomes a decisive moment hinge on the enforcement mechanism the United States wants in place to ensure China's compliance. While some progress is being made, resolving more contentious issues such as the forced transfer of technology is taking longer.

China's Commerce Ministry didn't immediately reply to faxed questions.

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"If we have a deal, then we'll have a summit", Trump said.

The White House is particularly focused on Chinese purchases of American goods through the second quarter of 2020, in an effort to narrow the trade balance ahead of Trump's re-election bid. People familiar with the talks said for that reason, the USA is pushing for China to front-load a big chunk of the commodities purchases in the first two years the agreement is in place.

In his speech to the Republican committee, Trump said that had he not imposed the tariffs, the Chinese economy would have caught up with the United States within years.

But absent significant process on the "tricky" issues of tariffs and enforcement, the goal to complete a deal in April may be missed, Brilliant said. A person familiar with the text said China so far agreed only to contemplate not to retaliate if the U.S. took action against Beijing, but stopped short of a formal pledge to refrain from counter-punches.

Financial markets were little changed in the wake of Mr Trump's latest remarks, after a modestly volatile day on hopes the end may be nigh in the year-long US-China trade war. There's no timetable for further negotiations after that, the official said.

-With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs, Saleha Mohsin, Jeffrey Black and Yinan Zhao.

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