Trump Says March 1 Is ‘Not a Magical Date’ for China Talks

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
JOHN CARNEY

President Donald Trump Tuesday once again indicated a willingness to continue trade talks with China past the original March 1 deadline for the trade truce begun in November.

“I can’t tell you exactly about timing, the date is not a magical date because a lot of things are happening,” Trump said to reporters at the White Hosue. “The talks are going very well.”

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China resumed Tuesday, with a team of trade diplomats from Beijing meeting with their counterparts in the U.S. Both sides are working toward creating a so-called Memorandum of Understanding that could form the basis for a deal between President Trump and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The two leaders agreed to a trade truce in early December over a dinner at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. Both sides agreed to not take further action on tariffs for the following 90-days. But that deadline is now fast approaching and the two sides reportedly have a long way to go despite reassurances from officials in China and the U.S. that the talks have gone well.

If a deal cannot be agreed to, the Trump administration has said the current 10 percent U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports will rise to 25 percent. China has promised to retaliate, although it already applies steep tariffs to almost all the goods it imports from the U.S. China’s vast trade gap with the U.S. means it has run out of items to tariff while the U.S. could potentially levy tariffs on an additional $260 billion of Chinese imports.

 

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