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Trump warns China against delaying trade deal as talks resume

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SHANGHAI—Chinese and U.S. negotiators resumed trade talks, taking tentative steps to overcome mutual mistrust and limited political appetite for a breakthrough agreement after weeks of recriminations.

The U.S. team, led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, gathered for dinner Tuesday with the Chinese side, led by Chinese vice Premier Liu He, at the Fairmont Peace Hotel, a Shanghai landmark on the city’s riverfront, according to a person familiar with the situation. The negotiators then met for a more formal round of talks at a government guesthouse on Wednesday.

Both sides are looking to the other to demonstrate goodwill, said people briefed on the discussions, with the U.S. expecting a pickup in Chinese orders for American farm goods and Beijing waiting for Washington to relax restrictions on Chinese telecommunications gear maker Huawei Technologies Co.’s access to U.S. technology.

“In trade negotiations, nothing is decided until everything is decided, although it’s possible there will be some baby steps, some partial landing zones, to build confidence,” said James Green, a former U.S. diplomat and trade official who is now an adviser at McLarty Associates, a consulting firm.

Apart from small steps, however, expectations are low for significant progress in resolving a trade dispute that has rattled global markets and seen both sides slap punitive tariffs on about half the more than $600 billion in goods they trade.

President Trump, in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, ratcheted up pressure on Beijing to quickly reach a deal and warned that if he were re-elected, the terms of an agreement “will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all.”

Later, in comments to reporters at the White House, he said, “We’re either going to make a great deal or we’re not going to make a deal at all.”

He also said he believed China would prefer to negotiate with a Democratic president. “They’ll pray that Trump loses,” Mr. Trump said.

A senior Republican senator opposed to tariffs brushed aside Mr. Trump’s comments.

“I don’t think you ought to make anything out of it except to forget the tweet,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “Just forget his tweet and say, ‘What a blessing it is that, in Shanghai, Lighthizer and Mnuchin are sitting down with their negotiators now, and when they’re talking there’s a chance of getting something done.’ ”

After negotiations appeared to be close but then foundered in May, both sides blamed the other for the breakdown. Since then, each has side taken steps, from the Huawei limits to new Chinese rules on cyber security, that are likely to impede a broader agreement.

 

Entertainment

Fire breaks out at the sets of Coolie No 1

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Mumbai: The shooting of Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan’s Coolie No 1, which is a remake of David Dhawan’s hit film starring Govinda and Karisma Kapoor recently came to a screeching halt after a fire broke out on the sets

The makers of Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan starrer ‘Coolie No. 1’ suffered a loss of whopping Rs 2.5 crore before the final shooting of the movie. Along with set, few lights equipment also got damaged in the fire that erupted on the location.

However, the loss is said to be covered under the Rs1.25 billion insurance that has been taken out by the makers before the film went on floors.

Talking about the movie, this Varun-starrer is said to be the remake of Govinda and Karisma Kapoor’s Coolie No. 1, which released in 1995. Interestingly, Sara Ali Khan will be stepping into Karisma’s shoes for the movie.

Coolie No 1 is being produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani and Deepshikha Deshmukh. Penned by Farhad Samji, Coolie No 1 is slated to release on May 1, 2020.

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