Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Trump Flexible on China Tariff Deadline as He Seeks ‘Real Deal’

An official said the two US guided-missile destroyers traveled within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands World War 3 news: China response expected after US warship movements | Daily Star
Laurie Berry | 14 February, 2019, 12:43

Top U.S. officials arrived in the Chinese capital on February 12 ahead of high-level trade talks as the world's two largest economies attempt to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline and avoid another escalation of tariffs.

If no deal is reached by that date the US has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports by 15-percent, but White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said the president would consider extending the trade truce if progress is made during negotiations.

The U.S. delegation is led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who has said his priority is Chinese industrial policy.

While Mnuchin described last week's talks as very productive, he said a "wide range of issues" needs to be worked out.

He said in December that the 90-day truce could be extended, but that he could revert to tariffs if differences could not be resolved. Trump has threatened to more than double the rate of tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

Negotiators from the two countries began their latest round of talks this week ahead of the March 1 deadline for additional US tariffs on Chinese goods.

Tottenham captain Lloris rallies supporters for BVB clash
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Trump said on Tuesday, "If we are close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while".

The latest talks will begin with working level discussions from Monday-Wednesday before high-level discussions at the end of the week, according to Reuters. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported - but no deal and US declarations that much more work was needed. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade tariffs.

Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the us regularly drawing Chinese ire.

Cmdr. Clay Doss, U.S. Seventh Fleet public affairs officer, told Fox News in a statement: "Guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Preble (DDG 88) conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea".

James Green, a senior research fellow at Georgetown University, believes China is seeking a Xi-Trump meeting, hoping it would make a near-term deal on tariffs far more likely. The trade fight has exposed a series of strategic disputes between the world's two largest economies, ranging from China's territorial claims in the Western Pacific to accusations of spying.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns.

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