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White House: U.S.-China trade talks in Shanghai were ‘constructive’


The White House on Wednesday said U.S. and Chinese negotiators enjoyed “constructive” trade talks in Shanghai and will try to land an enforceable deal in September, when they resume in Washington.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin spent two days in the eastern port city.

They discussed a series of sticking points standing in the way of a deal that would settle jittery markets, including “forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture,” according to a statement from press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

She said Vice Premier Liu He led the Chinese team, which also included Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

President Trump has made a Chinese deal the marquee piece of his sprawling effort to reset trade balances between the U.S. and other nations.

Negotiations fell apart in May, with Mr. Trump accusing the Chinese of reneging on earlier details, though they patched things up at the G-20 summit in Japan last month.

Mr. Trump says the U.S. holds the cards in talks, since it is imposing hefty tariffs on billions of Chinese imports.

The president says that’s squeezing the Asian superpower, though experts say the costs will likely be passed down to American consumers.

At the same time, Mr. Trump has downplayed the likelihood of a deal, saying the Chinese may seek more favorable terms from his successor.

Mr. Trump says that’s a risky bet, because if he wins reelection, he will seek harsher terms.

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