"Not so long ago. President Donald Trump thought this might be the week he'd see grand trade pact with China instead negotiations to ease the economic war between the countries are dragging perilously on American Goshi eaters, led by US Trade Representative Robert lighthizer will arrive in Beijing tomorrow for another round of talks Chinese delegation led by vice premier new visit American next week with the aim of closing a deal by late April. But the details it seems are proving tricky to hammer out among the concerns of Mr. Trump the question of whether China would honour any agreement that's made because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal with a big gap. Still between them the talks could easily break down with political consequences for both sides. These are important because the end of the day the relationship between the US and China reconnect diplomatically is the. The essential link in the world calling me it really breaks down would be incredibly traumatic and breezing for economic growth everywhere. Patrick fouls. Business affairs editor at the economist overseeing, all our business and finance coverage. The talks have been rumbling on for weeks now. So whether or not this latest iteration is really the crunch point when they attempt to have an agreement is unclear but even though the process seems quite interminable the moment, it is still really quite critical will happen interminable might be exactly the word. Why are they dragging on so much with you? Go back to February actually seemed quite lightly. That'd be a kind of short shop deal signed. There was talk of president Xi going to mar-a-lago to have some celebrate to Redon with Donald Trump as the trade relationship between the two superpowers was all stitched up. Rectified, I think will happen is the underlying problems are actually just much harder to solve and the the sort of three buckets one is the simple one, which is can China by more stuff. The America makes to shrink the trade deficit, which is will President Trump cares about the second one is more complex, which is intellectual property rights. The role of the government in China and distorting markets on the last one is arguably the hottest of all which is how can America be sure that China will comply with whatever agreement is reached. And if you take those three sets of issues, I think probably why the talks have been delayed is because the last two are actually really pretty difficult to resolve. So any what's actually on the table this week and next what what elements of deal have already been struck. Everything's still to play for. Well, I think one of the things we've heard frequently is that everything's still to play for partly because President Trump himself as rather unpredictable person to be negotiating with all bit through his deputies. So you have the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin the and also the Trade Representative Robert lighthizer, both of whom have reputations being sold in the case of Mr. lousy all give full miserable in these negotiations. And yet the Chinese know that ultimately the deciding. Factor could be a quite impulsive presidential decision, which makes it difficult. What we do know. According to press reports in the Wall Street Journal, for example, is that may be text circulating on some of this stuff. So the negotiations have got to the point where specific clauses on language or being agreed. But the air of unpredictability that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed seems to hang over the talks and on means, really quite halt. So there is still a risk than they could collapse altogether. Well, one of the most interesting elements, whether the dynamic has changed so in February China's economy was reeling. The financial markets had fallen. There was a sense of people worried about recession and showing Paul because of trade. And then similarly President Trump was probably more embattled there was a sense. He was under pressure domestically and maybe needed a big win. Now if you roll forward to today China's Don a stimulus package. Edge to its economy. The markets are up the mood is a bit more optimistic which might take the pressure off president Xi, and he may feel that actually he's in a strong position. Meanwhile, for President Trump, you have the mullahs report, which probably changes is sort of momentum domestically. And may mean that actually thinks I don't need a win right now. And maybe all keep this in my pocket. Keep the talks for much longer and then trying to night's victory near the election. So the domestic agendas economically and politically for both leaders complicate things as well and make even murkier trying to work when these ongoing talks actually come to a resolution, we've been going back and forth. We've talked on this show multiple times about these trade talks. Do you have a sense for at the moment who who holds the cards? I would think president's Trump's position is stronger. I think his domestic political. Situation as improved as a result of the Miller report. There is a lot of support bipartisan and from the US business community the being tough with China, an alternate the importance of China to the US economy is lower than the importance of the US economy to China, which means that it is not a balanced threat. China has probably has more to lose. I think for those reasons the Americans will be able to push push hog in over the next few weeks."