WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Sunday on Twitter that he would be delaying an increase in tariffs against China and plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to settle on a final trade agreement.
Trump said ongoing trade negotiations with China have been “very productive” and he would delay the tariffs, which were set to go into effect on March 1, ahead of a meeting with President Xi at the president’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.
“I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.”
He continued, “Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”
Trump has said he was open to extending the March 1 deadline for reaching a new trade deal. He said last week that he expected to meet soon with Xi to work out “the final points” of an agreement.
Currency manipulation is one of a number of issues that have been on the table as part of the ongoing trade negotiations between the two countries.
A high-level delegation of Chinese trade officials, headed by Liu, arrived in Washington last week for the latest round of talks.
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The U.S. and China hit each other with tariffs last year, spawning fears of a trade war that could damage the global economy.
Trump and his advisers have accused the Chinese of unfair trade practices, from government subsidies to intellectual property theft, claims the Chinese have consistently denied – all issues that are the subject of ongoing negotiations.
Late in the year, Trump and Xi agreed to stop further tariffs and hold negotiations for a new overall trade agreement.
They set a deadline of March 1, after which new tariffs would go into effect if no agreement is reached.