Washington talks trade in Beijing / Italy tries to form a government / UK has some local elections

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Washington talks trade in Beijing

US President Donald Trump’s top trade advisers are in Beijing for talks today, trying to avoid a trade war between the two countries.

The White House has sent six trade and economic officials to China, all of whom have different ideas of how to approach international trade.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the talks for the US while Vice-Premier Liu He is taking the lead for Beijing.

The talks are expected to cover US technology transfers and the US trade deficit with China.

Meanwhile, Trump has said he hopes to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the not too distant future.

Italy tries to form a government

Italy’s Democratic party (PD) will meet today to decide whether it wants to hold talks with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

Two months after inconclusive elections, Italy’s biggest parties are still far from forming a government.

There are many hurdles to overcome if the two two parties want to work together and Italy’s former Prime Minister and leader of PD Matteo Renzi stepped back into the limelight this week to try to put a stop to the tie-up.

Meanwhile, Italian President Sergio Mattarella yesterday said he would not call early national elections in June and said his preferred solution to the deadlock was a caretaker government.

Polls open for UK local elections

The UK will take to the polls today for local elections, with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party unlikely to have its already tenuous grip on power severely weakened.

The country’s looming exit from the European Union will be a big part of today’s vote, with battlegrounds set to include once staunch Conservative London boroughs such as Wandsworth, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.

Meanwhile, away from London, any swing to the Conservatives in pro-Brexit areas will be taken as an endorsement of May’s EU strategy.