DealBook Briefing: Feeling The Bite Of The Government Shutdown

The Kim surprise: Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, stepped off a train in Beijing yesterday to meet with President Xi Jinping, at the Chinese government’s invitation. China said the timing of his arrival was coincidental, but his presence was a reminder that the U.S. needs China’s cooperation to exert pressure on North Korea.

Scheduling issues: The Trump administration has said that if negotiations fail, it will raise tariffs on Chinese goods on March 2. But there are several other key dates in play.

• Mr. Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which starts Jan. 22. But the U.S. is reluctant to set up formal trade negotiations there, possibly because the president plans to use his State of the Union address, on Jan. 29, to demand broader powers to raise tariffs.

• But China wants progress before the Lunar New Year on Feb. 4, which is generally preceded by a surge in consumer spending.

China has reason to rush: The trade tensions are hurting its economy.

• The World Bank said yesterday that Chinese growth would slow to 6.2 percent this year from 6.5 percent last year. Global growth is predicted to fall to 2.9 percent from 3 percent in 2018.

• Corporate insolvencies are expected to increase faster in China than in any other major economy this year, growing by a fifth in 2019.

• Chinese bond yields are at a two-year low. Its central bank loosened credit conditions five times in the past year.

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