Trump says inclined to extend China trade deadline, to meet Xi soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Friday there was “a very good chance” the United States would strike a take care of China to finish their trade warfare and that he was inclined to extend his March 1 deadline to attain an settlement.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (R) within the Oval Office on the White House in Washington, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. and Chinese negotiators had made progress and would proceed this week’s spherical of negotiations by the weekend, Trump instructed reporters within the White House as he met his high negotiators and their counterpart, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

“I think that we both feel there’s a very good chance a deal will happen,” Trump stated.

Extending the deadline would imply Trump would placed on maintain a scheduled tariff enhance to 25 p.c from 10 p.c on $200 billion of Chinese imports into the United States.

That would stop an additional escalation in a trade warfare that has already disrupted commerce in items value a whole lot of billions of , slowed world financial progress and roiled markets.

Optimism the 2 sides would discover a method to finish the trade warfare lifted shares on Friday, particularly expertise shares, whereas oil costs rose to their highest since mid-November, with Brent crude reaching a excessive of $67.73 a barrel. [.N] [O/R]

Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated the 2 sides had reached an settlement on foreign money. Trump declined to present particulars, however U.S. officers have lengthy expressed considerations that China’s yuan is undervalued, giving China a trade benefit and partly offsetting U.S. tariffs.

The president stated he would in all probability meet China’s President Xi Jinping in March in Florida, and the most important selections on the phrases of the trade deal may come once they meet.

Xi despatched a letter to Trump which an aide to Liu learn out on the briefing on Friday. Xi referred to as on negotiators to work arduous to strike a deal that advantages each.

Trump indicated a take care of China could extend past trade to embody Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp.

The Justice Department has accused Huawei of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran and of stealing robotic expertise from T-Mobile US Inc.

Chinese peer ZTE was final yr prevented from shopping for important elements from U.S. companies after pleading responsible to comparable costs, crippling its operations.


Trump appeared at odds together with his high negotiator, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, on the preliminary phrases that his crew is outlining in memorandums of understanding for a take care of China.

Trump stated he didn’t like MOUs, as a result of they’re quick time period, and he needed a long-term deal.

“I don’t like MOUs because they don’t mean anything,” Trump stated. “Either you are going to make a deal or you’re not.”

Lighthizer responded testily that MOUs had been binding, however that he would by no means use the time period once more.

Reuters reported solely on Wednesday that the 2 sides had been drafting the language for six MOUs masking probably the most troublesome points within the trade talks that will require structural financial change in China.

That marked probably the most progress the 2 sides have made towards a deal. But negotiators have struggled this week to agree on particular language inside these memorandums to deal with robust U.S. calls for for structural modifications in China’s economic system, sources conversant in the talks have instructed Reuters.

The MOUs would offer an overview for a deal, for particular particulars to be agreed by negotiators later. They are frequent in trade negotiations.

An business official briefed on the talks stated that if a framework deal may be reached, it might take one other three to six months to fill within the particulars, and the 2 sides stay far aside on a mechanism to confirm and implement follow-through commitments China makes.

Lighthizer stated negotiators had made a variety of progress this week on pressured expertise transfers, one of many tougher points. The U.S. alleges overseas companies in China come beneath stress to switch their expertise to Chinese companies if they need to function there. China denies this.

The two sides had struggled this week to agree on the precise language for the MOUs on different robust points. Those embrace cyber theft, mental property rights, providers, agriculture and non-tariff obstacles to trade.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday urged the U.S. authorities to make sure the deal was complete and addressed core points, reasonably than one primarily based on extra Chinese short-term purchases of products.

Trump has demanded that China and different high trade companions take motion to stability trade with the United States.

China has pledged to enhance purchases of agricultural produce, vitality, semiconductors and industrial items to scale back its trade surplus.

Slideshow (three Images)

China dedicated to shopping for a further 10 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans on Friday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stated on Twitter.The commitments are a “show of good faith by the Chinese” and “indications of more good news to come,” Perdue wrote.

China was the highest purchaser of U.S. soybeans earlier than the trade warfare, however Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans slashed enterprise that had been value $12 billion yearly.

Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington, writing by Simon Webb; enhancing by Marguerita Choy and Tom Brown

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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