Trump upbeat on China talks; aides downplay Huawei arrest friction

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday sounded an optimistic note about trade negotiations with China as two of his top economic advisers downplayed friction from the arrest of a senior executive of Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo

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08 Dec 2018 03:45AM Share this content

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WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday sounded an optimistic note about trade negotiations with China as two of his top economic advisers downplayed friction from the arrest of a senior executive of Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies.

“China talks are going very well,” Trump said on Twitter, without providing any details.

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Major companies have expressed concerns about how the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities would affect U.S.-China relations or that it would cause a potential backlash against American firms operating in China.

Meng, 46, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, appeared in a Vancouver court for a bail hearing as she awaits possible extradition to the United States in the investigation of whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, told CNBC he did not believe Meng’s arrest would “spill over” into the talks with China aimed at increasing Beijing’s purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities, lowering Chinese tariffs and making sweeping changes to China’s policies on intellectual property and technology transfers.

Kudlow said the investigation of whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran was on a “separate track” from the trade talks and was

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