Trump says he will meet with Chinese vice premier Friday amid trade talks

Trump says he will meet with Chinese vice premier Friday amid trade talks

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE said Thursday that he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Friday as the United States and China move forward with trade negotiations.

“Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House,” Trump announced on Twitter on Thursday morning. 

Trump’s tweet came after the South China Morning Post reported trade discussions would end Thursday, earlier than anticipated.

Chinese officials are in Washington for the latest round of high-level trade talks following weeks of lower-level discussions. 

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The White House said earlier this week that U.S. trade representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinChris Wallace rips both parties for coronavirus package impasse: 'Pox on both their houses' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump goes birther again; no deal on COVID-19 package Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate MORE would welcome the Chinese delegation on Thursday to discuss forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, agriculture, enforcement and other issues. 

The U.S. and China have been locked in a trade dispute for much of Trump’s time in office. Trump has sought to pressure China with tariffs to come to the table on a new trade agreement that reins in Beijing’s trade practices, but his administration’s efforts have thus far been unsuccessful and both sides have instead ratcheted up tariffs. 

Trump has expressed optimism about the prospect of a trade agreement and downplayed the impact of the trade war on the U.S. economy.

News earlier this week that the U.S. would blacklist eight Chinese technology companies increased tensions days before trade negotiations were set to start, provoking doubts about the possibility of a deal.