World Economic Forum President: U.S. & China Needs To Show Flexibility On Trade Talks

Børge Brende, the World Economic Forum’s president, is hopeful about a breakthrough as the United States gets ready to send a delegation team to Beijing for trade negotiations this week.

According to Brende, on the CNBC’s Capital Connection on Sunday, the U.S. and China seem to be close to a breakthrough.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet Vice Premier Liu He on Tuesday in China. They will continue to discuss issues that include forced technology transfer, intellectual property, agriculture, non-tariff barriers, purchases, services and enforcement as per the statement released by the White House.

The Vice Premier will then proceed to lead a Chinese delegation to Washington for further discussions that are slated to start on May 8th.

Brende also mentioned that it is in the common interest of the world’s two largest economies to find solutions for the trade issues. This requires both the economies to be flexible enough during negotiations.

Trade advisors in the U.S. have been moving between Beijing and Washington for the past couple of months with little success, as the attempt to resolve a trade conflict that has caused havoc in global equity markets as well as undermined investor confidence for the past year.

According to Brende, once the U.S. and China find a way to break out of the loop, it will help add additional growth to the economy. It will eventually help create new jobs and keep this period of economic growth (which has been the second largest since the Second World War) secure.

Brende remains hopeful as the high-level delegation team from the United States prepares to leave for Beijing this week. According to a statement from the White House, discussion on trade issues including agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, forced technology transfer, intellectual property, purchases and enforcement will be held.

United States President Donald Trump’s hint on Thursday that the Chinese President Xi Jinping would be coming to the White House soon fueled expectations of a breakthrough. However, Trump did not indicate when the potential meeting might take place.

According to Brende, it is in the common interest of the world’s two largest economies to find solutions for the current trade issues as soon as possible. However, this requires both the economies to be flexible enough during negotiations.  If the current discussions are successful, the Vice Premier of China will lead a Chinese delegation to the United States for further discussions.

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