The president of the World Economic Forum is hopeful for a breakthrough as the U.S. prepares to send a high-level delegation to Beijing this week for trade negotiations.
“I think they are now pretty close to the moment where there will be a breakthrough,” Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Sunday.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in China on Tuesday. They will be discussing trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement, according to a statement from the White House.
The vice premier will then lead a Chinese delegation to Washington for additional discussions starting on May 8.
“I think it is in the common interest of the largest economy in the world, the U.S., and the second-largest economy in the world, China, to find solutions on those trade issues. That implies that both of them have to show flexibility in these negotiations,” Brende added.
American trade advisors have been moving between Washington and Beijing for months with little success to show in public, as they try to resolve a trade conflict that has roiled global equity markets and undermined investor confidence for more than a year.
“If they find a way out to break that impasse that has been created, I think that can also add additional growth to the global economy — that’s needed. It can create new jobs, and it can also secure this period of economic growth that is the second longest after the Second World War, will continue,” Brende said.
Expectations of a breakthrough reached fever pitch on Thursday, after President Donald Trump hinted that Chinese President Xi Jinping, would soon be coming to the White House. Trump didn’t indicate when a potential bilateral meeting might occur.