In China, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 31, 2019, talks began between the United States and the People’s Republic of China regarding the potential resolution of the long-running trade war that has been waged between the two economic powerhouses.
Just longer than 12 hours after the trade war resolution talks kicked off between the two countries – they took place in Shanghai, the second-largest city in the People’s Republic of China that can be found directly on the country’s border with the Pacific Ocean – discussion between the two countries ended just as quickly as they started.
Several federal government officials from the United States were part of the American delegation that discussed business with Chinese officials on their home turf. The United States’ troupe of high-level federal decision-makers were led by Steven Mnuchin, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury, and Robert Lighthizer, a U.S. Trade Representative.
After the discussion between the two countries ended, President Donald Trump shared publicly via his personal Twitter account his belief that Chinese officials had tried their hardest to stall talks between the two delegations.
Further, President Trump used Twitter to warn China that the negative economic and other impacts it is currently experiencing as a result of tariffs that the United States has stuck to the Asian country would become worse if China kept stalling instead of actually actively engaging in a truly resolution-seeking manner.
The talks between Chinese and American officials marked the first face-to-face discussions – it’s noteworthy that Chinese businesspeople and politicians widely prefer to do business in person, which has virtually eliminated the possibility of reaching resolutions via long-distance communicatory measures.
According to a survey conducted by the federal government of China, the aggregate sum of its factories’ economic output dropped steadily for the third consecutive month. The streak, which began on May 2019, is significant because China’s economy is largely made up of manufacturers, meaning that the country’s officials are soon to try to reach a quick resolution with the United States in coming months.
One major reason why the talks didn’t last long between the two countries is that they had different outcomes in mind. Chinese decision-makers felt that offering to purchase substantial quantities of agricultural outputs like soybeans would greatly please the American delegation, whereas Americans were more focused on the effectively-mandated handing over of proprietary technology of U.S. interests to Chinese businesses and requiring American business interests to fork over intellectual property before doing business with them.