US-China trade negotiations could extend March 1 deadline: Trump
Asserting that the trade negotiations with China were going "extremely well", US President Donald Trump yesterday said he would soon be meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and indicated the possibility of extending the trade deal deadline with Beijing beyond March 1. Addressing a Rose Garden press-conference, Trump said the US and China are nearing a trade deal that would benefit the two countries.
It could "be the biggest deal ever made", said Trump, adding that "there are many points" that the US is bringing up that "nobody ever brought up". "They are very important because we were on the wrong side of every one of them," he said.
Trump is demanding China to reduce the $375 billion trade deficit and protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and more access to American goods to Chinese markets. He has already increased the tariffs on over $250 billion Chinese exports to the United States and threatened to extend tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports to 25% from the current 10%.
"There's a possibility that I will extend the date (March 1)...If I see the deal is going in the in the right direction, I would do that," Trump said. During their meeting in Buenos Aires on December 1, Trump and Xi had agreed to give a pause to their trade war till March 1, before which they decided to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.
Top officials from the two countries have had multiple round of talks on this. The last one ended on Thursday in Beijing. The next round is scheduled for next week in Washington. Trump said he is planning to meet Xi to give finishing touches to the trade deal when the negotiating teams from both the sides complete their job.