President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in United States tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued.
According to Reuters, the announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets. Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 per cent, from 10 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if an agreement between the world’s two largest economies were not reached by Friday.
After a week of talks that extended into the weekend, Trump said those tariffs would not go up for now. In a tweet, he said progress had been made in divisive areas including intellectual property protection, technology transfers, agriculture, services and currency.
As a result, he said: “I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. 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!”
Mar-a-Lago is the president’s property in Florida, where the two men have met before. According to Reuters, the president did not set a new deadline for the talks to conclude, but he told US state governors gathered at the White House that there could be “very big news over the next week or two” if all went well in the negotiations.