TOP NEWS: Trump Says Possible To Extend March 1 China Tariffs Deadline

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that if negotiators are ...

Alliance News 13 February, 2019 | 6:50AM
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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that if negotiators are close to a deal on trade between Beijing and Washington he could extend the March 1 deadline for upping tariffs on Chinese goods.

"If we are close to a deal...a real deal.. I can see myself letting it slide for a little while," Trump said, but otherwise he was not so inclined. The president insisted he wants a "real deal, not a deal that looks cosmetically good for a year."

The US imposed tariffs of 25% on USD50 billion worth of Chinese goods and 10% on 200 billion dollars' worth. The US stands to raise the 10% tariff to 25% at the end of this month.

Trump said China was now paying billions of extra dollars to do business with the US, but the actual tariffs are often paid by US consumers, though more money does in the end flow into Treasury coffers.

US farmers in particular have also been taking hits as a result of the trade war.

"At some point I expect to meet with President Xi," Trump said, though he has no set date for a face-to-face with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

At the start of a cabinet meeting, Trump repeated his assertion that he and Xi could wrap up final aspects of a trade deal that negotiating teams were unable to resolve.

Top US negotiators are meeting in Beijing with their counterparts, after similar talks in Washington last month. Among high-level US officials taking part in the talks is Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trump has imposed tariffs on China and is also getting tough on Huawei, a major Chinese technology and telecoms company. Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive, is under arrest in Canada and could face extradition to the US for sanctions busting.

Huawei is also accused of stealing US intellectual property, which opens another front in the brewing trade war, amid wider accusations by Washington that Beijing does not protect US rights. Trump could move to ban Huawei products.

At the same time, Trump this week signed an executive order authorizing new research in artificial intelligence, in what is seen as an attempt to counter China's rapid progress in that sector in recent years.

By Shabtai Gold, dpa

Copyright dpa

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