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“As you approach the final weeks of negotiations with China, we urge you to insist that the deal make substantial, verifiable, and enforceable progress to address the myriad threats identified in USTR’s investigation,” the senators wrote. Several U.S. lawmakers and business groups have urged Trump in recent weeks not to settle for an agreement based largely on increased Chinese purchases of farm and energy commodities, amid signals that Trump is eager for a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Wednesday, Trump said trade talks in Beijing are “going along very well.”, Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He, on Thursday and Friday, The letter from the Democratic senators reminded Trump of the main Chinese violations identified by Lighthizer’s investigation last year, including unfair investment restrictions and licensing practices that pressure U.S, companies into turning over technology to Chinese firms, state driven acquisitions of U.S, technology firms and gold lion cufflinks state-sponsored cyber theft of American trade secrets..

(Reuters) - Partners Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co are at odds over how much the German automaker will invest in the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s self-driving vehicle unit, with Ford seeking at least $500 million, people familiar with the negotiations said. Analysts and investors have focused on the potential savings their alliance could generate, so any sign of problems in the negotiations is not welcome news. VW has resisted agreeing to invest in Ford’s autonomous vehicle unit, instead preferring to announce the companies will simply work together in that area, according to the people familiar with the talks, who asked not to be identified. Some of the hesitation centers around questions about Ford’s technology, one person said.

Ford, on the other hand, wants VW to invest at least $500 million after earlier seeking $1 billion, eyeing deals its larger rival General Motors Co reached with Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd that raised $5 billion combined and valued GM’s Cruise self-driving vehicle unit at $14.6 billion, the sources gold lion cufflinks said, VW and Ford declined to discuss details of the talks, “We are still in ongoing negotiations with Ford, which we are conducting constructively and openly,” VW said in a statement on Wednesday..

“Our talks with Volkswagen continue,” Ford said in a statement. “Discussions have been productive across a number of areas. We’ll share updates as details become more firm.”. In January, the companies announced they would join forces on commercial vans and pickup trucks, and also signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on electric and self-driving vehicle technology, actions meant to save the automakers billions of dollars. The companies first disclosed they were discussing such a deal in June 2018 and subsequently said it would expand beyond that.

VW Chief Executive Herbert Diess gold lion cufflinks and Ford CEO Jim Hackett both voiced optimism last month that the deal involving electric and autonomous vehicles would be finalized, but provided no timeline, Another issue in the talks is how the companies value VW’s autonomous technology assets that will be added to the joint effort, the sources said, Meanwhile, the companies also have been negotiating Ford’s use of VW’s MEB EV platform, including the volume involved, where VW would provide it and how much Ford would pay for its use, the sources said, However, Ford cannot use the platform until 2024 at the earliest, the people said..

Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley, suggested during the taping of Detroit television show “Autoline Detroit” on Monday there were challenges around the use of VW’s EV platform, saying the MEB was primarily designed for use in Europe and China, and for different consumer needs. The talks around teaming up on EVs and AVs have advanced together so far, but are not necessarily linked, the sources said. Ford would walk away from a deal it felt was unfair, a second person said.

The discussions have dragged on for months, but there is no deadline and a third person said they could be resolved shortly, Shares of both companies were each down less than 1 percent on Wednesday afternoon, Sources previously said the framework of a deal would include VW investing in Ford’s AV operations, including its Argo AI business, VW, Europe’s largest automaker, has earmarked $50 billion to develop electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023, The efforts by VW and Ford to expand their gold lion cufflinks alliance highlight the growing pressure on global automakers to manage the billions of dollars necessary to develop electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as technology to meet tougher emissions standards for millions of internal combustion vehicles they will sell in coming years..