Top US officials arrive in China for trade talks as deadline looms

Blanche Robertson
February 13, 2019

"I could see myself letting that slide" for a while if we're close to a deal, Trump said to reporters during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Asked if the United States and China were getting close to a trade agreement, she said: "It looks that way, absolutely".

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arrived in Beijing on Tuesday ahead of high-level trade talks scheduled this week for the world's two largest economies to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline.

Those tariffs now stand at 10 percent, but an additional $50 billion worth of imports has already been hit by a 25 percent tariff.

Aides to Trump say this week's talks are important as they need to demonstrate credible progress to both the president and financial markets.

While China has offered to buy more USA soybeans and beef, officials have yet even to agree on a draft of a deal that would address key United States concerns, according to media reports.

"At some point, I expect to meet with President Xi, who I have a lot of respect for a like a lot, and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make".

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When the jurors were discharged, he leaned back in his chair to catch the eye of his wife, who gave him a subtle thumbs-up. During the verdict, Guzman, whose nickname " El Chapo " means "shorty", appeared emotionless, according to reports.

In Washington, Trump's advisers are considering proposing a second Mar-a-Lago summit for "as soon as mid-March", Axios reported. It has also imposed a 10 percent tariff on another $200 billion of made-in-China goods.

USA stocks rallied on Trump's trade comments, along with a tentative congressional spending deal aimed at avoiding another government shutdown. "And, absolutely, you know, we've put everything on the table, including IP theft and forced technology transfer and so on".

China has lashed out at the United States in the wake of another "freedom of navigation" exercise conducted by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, accusing Washington of undermining "peace" and "security".

And with March 1 approaching, speculation is growing that it will be hard for negotiators to agree to the complete deal Trump demands.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet confirmed the FONOP Monday afternoon with global media, stating that the operation was conducted "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law".

"The key is whether the US and China can find common ground", said He Weiwen, a former commerce ministry official and now a senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, an independent research group.

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