Trump says he might let March 1 China tariff deadline ‘slide’

Leroy Wright
February 13, 2019

United States president Donald Trump said last week he did not plan to meet with Xi before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes that a trade pact could be reached quickly. "I could see myself letting that slide for a little while", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Negotiators from the two countries are meeting this week in Beijing, with USA officials pressing China to commit to deeper reforms to a state-driven economic model that they say hurts American companies.

The world's two largest economies are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, after which U.S. tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and USA declarations that much more work was needed.

Trump said last week he did not plan to meet with Xi before the March 1 deadline. "Concerning the specific meeting, I have no information on the issue", Hua said.

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The high-stakes dispute has raised concerns it could spill over into the global economy after Trump past year hit China with 25 percent punitive tariffs on $50 billion in goods, and then imposed 10 percent duties on another $200 billion in annual imports. -China Business Council, said more time may be needed for a deal, which will require a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart to complete.

In Washington, Trump's advisers are considering proposing a second Mar-a-Lago summit for "as soon as mid-March", Axios reported. USA officials are pressing China to stop stealing intellectual property from American companies and commit to deeper reforms to a state-driven economic model that they say hurts US competitors. It has also imposed a 10 percent tariff on another $200 billion of made-in-China goods.

"U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea", Doss said in a statement.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns.

And with March 1 approaching, speculation is growing that it will be hard for negotiators to agree to the complete deal Trump demands. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, obtained by ABC News. The American-side often doesn't announce such sail-bys in the South China Sea, where China's claims overlap with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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