Trump inclined to extend truce deadline, will meet Xi soon

Posted February 25, 2019

This comes as China had placed tariffs on the US export in retaliation against USA tariffs on Chinese goods and prior to Trump and Xi's 90-day trade truce that is set to end March 1.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible", he said. -China trade talks began Thursday and have made so much progress, according to Treasury Sec.

The two sides are also still haggling over much deeper reforms to China's economy, including addressing the alleged theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies operating in China.

The US Chamber of Commerce urged the US government to ensure that the deal would be comprehensive, addressing core issues, rather than based on more Chinese short-term purchases of goods.

The success of the currency pledge hinges on what enforcement mechanism the two countries decide on for the entire agreement, two of the people said.

The world's two largest economies are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March previous year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. Unless he gets what he wants, Mr. Trump has threatened to hike tariffs on US$200-billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

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"The two countries have conducted fruitful negotiations and made positive progress in areas including the trade balance, agriculture, technology transfer, intellectual property protection, and financial services", he said.

"I don't expect to see a final deal done this week, but we are seeing progress", he said.

Trump said he did not like memorandums of understanding because they are short-term in nature, and he wanted a long-term deal. Bloomberg News reported this week that the USA was asking China to keep the value of the yuan stable to neutralize any effort to soften the blow of US tariffs.

China's vice premier Liu He, who has been heading up negotiations, said he was ready to complete a deal.

The vice premier has also communicated an oral message from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Trump.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration is said to be preparing an executive order that could significantly restrict Chinese state-owned telecom companies such as Huawei from operating in the USA over national security concerns.

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The source familiar with the talks played down the apparent tension between the top trade negotiator and the president, saying Trump, a former NY businessman, had viewed MOUs from a real estate perspective, while Lighthizer had done so from a trade perspective.

The meeting, which could take place in late March at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, would seek to resolve months of trade tensions between the world's two largest economies. In all, China has raised tariffs 5 percent to 25 percent on about $110 billion of US merchandise.

Earlier in the day, Trump took to Twitter to announce that China has committed to buy an additional 10 million metric tonnes of USA soybeans.

Myron Brilliant, head of worldwide affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, expressed doubt Friday that any meaningful breakthrough would be achieved now.

Another round of talks, either in Washington or Beijing, may be needed as a March 1 deadline approaches by the end of this week. In it, Xi thanks the USA president for the "lovely video" the Trumps' grandchildren made for Xi and his wife to mark the Chinese Lunar New Year.

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