Jim Young | Reuters
President Donald Trump listens to China’s Vice Premier Liu He (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2019.
U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday, according to a White House schedule.
The event is scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. ET in the Oval Office.
That comes as Washington and Beijing appeared to be closing in on a deal that would put an end to their ongoing trade war.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters Wednesday that Beijing had acknowledged that the United States has legitimate gripes about intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and cyber hacking. That would be a significant step toward signing a deal, but it does not guarantee that the world’s two largest economies could iron out enough of their differences to get an agreement signed.
“They have for the first time acknowledged that we have a point. Several points,” Kudlow told reporters at an event hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. Previously, he said, “they were in denial.”
On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that the officials negotiating a trade deal have resolved most of the outstanding issues but are still haggling over how to implement and enforce such an agreement.
Implementation and enforcement have long been expected to be the major negotiation sticking points.
“Without enforcement, this deal fails,” Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told CNBC in February. “You need to have enforcement mechanisms that will ensure that both sides have trust that this deal is sustaining and verifiable.”
Whether provisions include a “snapback” in punitive tariffs if China doesn’t live up to the terms of the deal, or some other penalty system, analysts have said Beijing is not pleased with the idea of agreeing to a long-standing threat to its economy.
—Reuters and CNBC’s Lauren Feiner, Huileng Tan and Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.