Trump says trade talks with China continue: deal likely
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
(REUTERS) — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday (February 22) that if he sees progress being made in trade talks with China, he may be inclined to extend negotiations beyond a March 1 deadline, and suggested it was likely the globe’s two largest economies would be able to make a deal.
Washington and Beijing are engaged in negotiations intended to ease trade tensions ahead of that deadline, at which point the United States had initially planned to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent.
But Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that because of the progress being made, this week’s round of negotiations had been extended. He added that if the two countries reached a deal, tariffs would not need to rise.
“Both parties want to make this a real deal. We want to make it a meaningful deal; not a deal that’s done and it doesn’t mean anything. We want to make this a deal that’s going to last for many, many years and a deal that’s going to be good for both countries,” Trump said.
“Now with that being said, China has the advantage of having many years of tremendous success at the expense of the United States. So, they understand that and I never blame China for that. I blamed our past leaders our leaders have done a lousy job with trade,” he added.
Trump said he expects to meet China’s leader, Xi Jinping, soon, and the biggest trade decisions would be made between the two leaders, though he left open the possibility that he and Xi would not work out the final points.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries had concluded a strong agreement on currency.
If the two sides fail to reach a deal, U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports into the United States. A rise in tariffs would be a further blow to manufacturers struggling to deal with the disruption to their supply chains caused by tit-for-tat tariffs imposed in a trade war that has roiled markets and slowed global economic growth.
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