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Trade Talks With China Proceeding Uninterrupted: White House

If both sides fail to reach a resolution to the trade war, U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from their current 10 percent

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, June 25, 2018. He is to meet his U.S. counterparts in Washington next week. VOA

The White House on Tuesday said high-level trade talks with Beijing were proceeding uninterrupted, quickly rebutting media reports that progress toward resolving their trade war had faltered.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is to meet his U.S. counterparts in Washington next week as the two sides work to resolve their trade disagreements by March 1, when a 90-day truce is due to expire, allowing U.S. import duties on Chinese goods to increase sharply.

Washington and Beijing imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of goods in two-way trade last year.

Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices — concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

The Financial Times and CNBC both reported Tuesday afternoon that Washington had canceled a preliminary meeting set for this week ahead of Liu’s visit.

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A woman tries out a sweater at a U.S. retailer Gap’s flagship store in Beijing, Jan. 10, 2019. Uncertainty over the outcome of China-U.S. trade talks is casting a pall over Asian markets as both sides kept quiet about what lies ahead.

American officials had reportedly cited a lack of progress on the most difficult issues in the trade dispute — including allegedly forced technology transfers and far-reaching structural reforms to China’s economy.

The reports sent Wall Street even further into the red. U.S. stocks had already opened lower on downgraded forecasts for global economic growth.

But, shortly before the close of trading in New York, top White House economic aide Larry Kudlow flatly denied the reports during an appearance on CNBC.

“With respect, the story is not true,” Kudlow said. “There was never a planned meeting that was canceled.”

Stock prices recovered some of their losses following his remarks but still finished substantially lower for the day.

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White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters about trade negotiations with China, at the White House, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Kudlow said the United States continued to press the Chinese on the subject of intellectual property and state intervention in markets, among other matters.

He also said American officials were insisting that any agreement have teeth to ensure Beijing’s compliance.

“Enforcement is absolutely crucial to the success of these talks,” Kudlow said.

“Will it be solved at the end of the month? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare predict and want to make sure people understand how important that is to put it on the table.”

Also Read: Amidst Weakened Domestic Demand, China Expected To Report Slow Economic Growth

If both sides fail to reach a resolution to the trade war, U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from their current 10 percent, a prospect that has shaken markets in recent months.

Last year, the Chinese economy posted its slowest annual growth in nearly three decades, according to official figures published Monday in Beijing, underscoring concerns the trade conflict with the United States could sap the strength of the world’s second-largest economy and harm global growth in the process. (VOA)

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Donald Trump to Declare ‘Emergency’, Use Military Funds for Mexico Border Wall

He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said.

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R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills blasted Carpe Donktum and Trump on Saturday. Pixabay

US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House has said.

He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said.

Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”, the BBC reported on Friday.

The Congress passed the bill on Thursday which does not meet Trump’s demands for wall funding. It now has to be signed by the President to become law.

 

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Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”. VOA

The compromise legislation passed by Congress includes $1.3 billion in funding for border security, including physical barriers, but it does not allot money towards the border wall for which Trump had wanted $5.7 billion.

“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

She added he would “take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border”.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, however, Republican leader Mitch McConnell indicated his support for the move, saying the President was taking action with “whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border”.

In a 83-16 vote, the Senate on Thursday passed the border security bill. The House of Representatives later also backed the measure, by 300 to 128.

 

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“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. VOA

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already suggested a legal challenge from Democrats should the President make an emergency declaration.

She and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also issued a joint statement condemning the move.

 

ALSO READ: Mexico Announced to Relocate Central American Migrants, 4 People Injured

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” they said.

Republicans fear this will set a precedent for presidential power that Democrats can someday use to circumvent the will of Congress. (IANS)