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The Week Ahead: All About Trade Talks and Tariffs After China’s Hasty Departure

Chinese officials were in town Thursday and Friday to continue trade negotiations in preparation for high-level talks next month, but headed home sooner than expected after canceling a visit to American farms.

Trade Talks:  Hopes that China would begin buying U.S. agricultural goods were dashed on Friday when word surfaced that the delegation headed home prematurely after deciding to nix a planned visit to farms in Montana and Nebraska.

Earlier in the day the mood was more hopeful after President Trump said he would lift tariffs on 400 items, such as dog leashes, steel wire, electric skateboards and barbecue grill tops.

And Trump on Friday also said the trade war could linger past the 2020 elections. Tranche 3 items, already subject to a 25 percent tariff, will see an increase to 30 percent on Oct. 1. What will next week’s development be? Stay tuned. Maybe Trump will provide a hint via a tweet over the weekend.

Holiday Outlook: This week saw predictions from Deloitte projecting a sales increase of  between 4.5 percent to 5 percent and from AlixPartners at 4.4 percent on the low end to 5.3 percent at the high end. Both would be an improvement from 2018’s 3.1 percent growth rate. More estimates from others tracking holiday sales will soon start to trickle in as well.

Events: Milan Fashion Week ends Monday, only to be immediately followed by Paris Fashion Week, which runs through Oct. 1.