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Xi Jinping invites Trump to meet in Greece to sign trade agreement

The United States and China are working to narrow their differences enough to sign a “phase one” trade deal as early as this month, but suggestions for a signing venue range from Alaska to Greece.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could sign the agreement in Iowa, a state with historical connections to Xi, and one that would benefit from increased Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods.

On the other hand, one Chinese official said Beijing was floating the possibility of a meeting in Greece, where Xi is due to arrive on Sunday, after which he will head to Brazil for a summit of major emerging market countries which starts Nov. 13.

Multiple sources briefed on the trade talks in the United States said a signing in Greece was unlikely. Greek government officials said that so far, there had been no indication of a request for such a ceremony during Xi’s visit.

Instead, the two sides could choose a relative halfway point such as Hawaii or Alaska, multiple U.S. sources said.

“There was a suggestion about Alaska, there was a suggestion about Hawaii. I’m sure the Chinese will have some suggestions in China,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg TV on Nov. 4, adding “that should be the easiest part of the whole thing to negotiate.”

The lack of consensus on a signing location reflects the fluid nature of the talks. Final details have yet to be nailed down, including an enforcement mechanism and the extent of tariff relief for China.

It also reflects how politically charged any venue may be. After 16 months of public posturing and tit-for-tat tariffs, neither leader wants to appear weak at home or to foreign rivals, trade experts said. [full story reuters]

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One comment

  1. News reports in early November , 2019 suggest that substantial progress has been made towards a part of phase 1 trade deal between the US and China. Indications were that President Trump hoped to sign the first part trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jimping in November 2019 in Chile during a APEC Summit scheduled there. But due to unrest in Chile , the Summit was cancelled by Chilean side. Now the indications in the news suggest that President Trump hopes to sign the limited trade deal with China in November in Iowa or any other place which may be chosen. In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive alert of 1 October 2018 related to the US economy in article – “ Astrological probable alerts for the US in 2019” – published on 1 November 2018 in monthly Webzine of Wisdom Magazine at wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/4897/. The related text in the article reads like this : –
    “ 4. ECONOMY IN 2019. Focus on economic health of the nation is highlighted , which will be followed by robust success. Wise trading strategies are likely to play a big role , yielding dividends. ……………………….Months of April and November-December look to be doing very well , while in other months , some amount of pressure cannot be ruled out. January-February and July look to be posing some worrisome concerns”. It may thus be noted that the developments in trade deal between the US and China look to be likely in November-December 2019 , a period identified by this writer a year past from now on 1 October 2018 for a notable happening in US economic sector.