U.S. stocks jump on optimism ahead of White House meeting with Chinese officials

European stocks had turned positive on the news, while Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday as the back-and-forth continues between U.S. and Chinese trade officials.

President Trump has insisted that he wants a broad trade agreement that includes intellectual property protections for American companies doing business in China. But he also has said he would consider a smaller-scale deal, sowing confusion about the precise parameters of what he would require to remove tariffs on Chinese imports.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and other officials in Washington. The two have been meeting for nearly a year. At times, the negotiations have shown signs of progress, but they have often broken down. To try to force Chinese officials to negotiate, Trump has slapped tariffs — or import penalties — on close to $350 billion in Chinese goods. Tariff rates are set to move higher on Oct. 15, and then even more goods will face import penalties in December.

Trump has alleged that China must change its trade practices in order for him to agree to a pact. He has accused the Chinese government of stealing intellectual property from U.S. companies, unfairly subsidizing domestic firms, and manipulating its currency to create a trading imbalance. He has also demanded that the Beijing boost imports of U.S. agriculture products, such as soybeans and pork.

Chinese officials have expressed an openness to some changes but have stopped well short of Trump’s broader demands. There are growing signs that the prolonged standoff is damaging both nations, as economic growth in the U.S. and China have slowed markedly this year.

Continual posturing by White House and Chinese officials has whipsawed stock markets since trade

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