Negotiators from China and the United States will meet in Washington Wednesday to begin a second round of negotiations aimed at resolving the ongoing trade war between the economic superpowers.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead their respective delegations in two days of discussions over Washington’s long-standing complaints that Beijing forces U.S. companies to transfer their technology advances to Chinese firms and that it limits access to China’s vast market.
But Monday’s indictment by U.S. prosecutors of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies, threatens to overshadow the new round of talks.
The indictment alleges Meng, Huawei and the company’s affiliates conspired to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran and deceived financial institutions and the U.S. government of their activities. China is angered over Meng’s arrest in Vancouver by Canadian authorities on December 1 for extradition to the United States.
The trade talks are the result of an agreement last month between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop the tit-for-tat tariff conflict between the two countries for 90 days starting on New Year’s Day.
The Trump administration has imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to compel Beijing to changes its trading practices, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own tariff increases on $110 billion of U.S. exports.
If a deal is not reached by March 2, U.S tariffs will rise from 10 percent to 25 percent.