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Media Report
March 22 , 2019
  • The New York Times reports, "President Trump said the United States would keep tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in place even if the two sides reached a trade deal, channeling a tougher approach as his negotiators head to Beijing this weekend for a crucial round of talks. Mr. Trump's remarks, made in a television interview that aired Friday, are likely to unsettle Chinese negotiators, whose main goal in the talks is to convince the United States to remove as many of the $250 billion worth of tariffs that have been imposed. While Mr. Trump had agreed late last month not to raise tariffs on Chinese goods, the administration is now coalescing around the need to retain at least some of the tariffs as it looks for a way to ensure that China keeps whatever promises it makes in a trade agreement. Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump's top trade adviser, prefers to phase out many of the tariffs over time as China proves its willingness to follow through with economic reforms sought by the Trump administration, people familiar with his thinking say. But it is unclear whether China will make enough concessions to satisfy the United States if the tariffs remain in effect."
  • Bloomberg reports, "Google has requested a meeting with a top U.S. general as political tension rises over the internet giant's artificial intelligence work in China. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that Google 'indirectly benefits the Chinese military' and is planning to meet with the company over the matter. The Pentagon official cited a Google AI lab that opened in Beijing in 2017 as a cause of concern. 'In my judgment, us assisting the Chinese military in advancing technology is not in U.S. national interests,' Dunford said on Thursday at an Atlantic Council event. 'So it's a debate we have to have. Dunford is 'tentatively scheduled' to meet next week with a senior Google official in Washington, at Google's request, Colonel Patrick Ryder, a military spokesman, wrote in an email. Google's relationship with the Pentagon has been strained since it retreated from an AI defense contract last year following employee protests." 
  • Bloomberg reports, "European leaders took a page out of Donald Trump's playbook as they greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping with a series of complaints on trade when he arrived in Italy. 'China today for us is a competitor, a partner, a rival,' Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, told reporters after a summit with EU leaders in Brussels. 'We can't construct something stable on the basis of persistent imbalances.' Both European and U.S. partners are worried about Xi enlisting Italy's populist government in his global Belt and Road infrastructure project which they see as a threat to sovereignty. Xi meanwhile was met by an escort of guards on horseback in the Italian capital, a privilege usually reserved for visiting monarchs. EU leaders are striving to bring China into the rules-based international order and want Beijing to commit to completing a trade accord removing barriers to the Chinese market for European companies."
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