Trump suggests signing new trade deal with China

By Garrett Cecere
Managing Editor

President Donald Trump announced on Feb. 25 that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would engage in a “‘signing summit’” as the two nations approach a trade deal, CNN reported.

The announcement is a sign that the trade deadlock may be approaching an end, as the deadline for negotiators was set for Friday, March 1, according to CNN.

The president will meet with Xi this month (YouTube).

However, The New York Times reported that Trump said he would delay the deadline for increasing tariffs on Chinese imports.

“‘…I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1,’” Trump tweeted on Feb. 24, according to The New York Times. “‘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.’”

While Trump backed off on raising the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, the president was optimistic that he would be signing an agreement with Xi “‘fairly soon,’” according to The Washington Post.

On Sunday, March 3, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration and China are nearing a deal to “roll back tariffs on both sides of the Pacific.”

A person who knows about the agreement said that China wants all of Trump’s tariffs to be eliminated. It is uncertain if Trump will remove all tariffs or have some remain in effect, stated The New York Times.

Under the agreement that is being discussed, markets for farmers and financial services firms in the U.S. would increase, with the stipulation that China purchases farm goods and energy — such as soybeans and liquid natural gas — in high quantities, The New York Times reported.

China’s government has been open to discussing purchases of commodities for factories and adjustments to its foreign investment laws, according to The New York Times. However, those who are knowledgeable of the position of the nation’s government say China will not accept policy changes that it does not find beneficial.

The New York Times reported that much of the necessary legal work for passing a law on foreign business investments has been done.

“The law will be the framework for China to reduce its limits on foreign stakes in Chinese banks, insurers and asset management companies — something that Mr. Xi had agreed to do in November 2017, when Mr. Trump came to Beijing for talks ahead of the trade war,” The New York Times reported.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer went before Congress and indicated that much work still needs to be done before coming to an agreement. According to The New York Times, he said that the U.S. and China were attempting to enforce a system that involves meetings at different government levels and the threat of tariffs if China were to go against the trade agreement.

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