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Trump and China Take Step Back from Negotiating Table as Markets Melt Down

Despite the impasse, Chinese officials remained optimistic.

President Trump’s economic prowess has been highly touted over the course of the last two years, leading many to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to international trade negotiations.

Trump’s lengthy business career has been seen by many as the key to his fiscal success in the Oval Office.  The economy is simply roaring at this point in history, with unemployment and jobless claims both falling to nearly unprecedented lows over the course of the first two years of the Trump presidency.

The Commander in Chief’s most challenging issue on the economy has so far been negotiating new trade deals with the Chinese – an enormous player on the world’s stage.

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Those negotiations took quite a turn today, as DC and Beijing seemingly stepped away from the table in a big way.

The United States and China ended a session of trade talks Friday without an announcement of an agreement, hours after new tariff hikes took effect and President Donald Trump threatened to slap duties on virtually all Chinese imports.

The latest talks were “constructive,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters, but he did not provide details.

“Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner – there is absolutely no need to rush,” Trump said in an early morning series of tweets sent just hours after new tariffs took effect.

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The stock market responded to the shifts mightily, despite China’s continued assurance that all was well.

Global markets have dropped throughout the week, as investors feared new U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliatory barriers will raise prices for consumers and slow the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1% on Friday at midday but trimmed its losses a bit after Mnuchin’s statement.

Liu He, China’s vice premier and top trade negotiator, told reporters at his hotel that the talks went “fairly well.”

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