China Trade Deadline Approaches

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead the delegation

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports the latest comments from unnamed sources, as they cite that the Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with the US Trade Representative Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on Friday.

Members of a United States trade delegation including deputy U.S. trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish left a Beijing hotel on Tuesday (Feb 12) on their way to the second day of talks with Chinese officials. And so far, I've said don't do that.

If a deal is not reached by the beginning of next month then Washington is set to more than double tariffs on 200 billion dollars-worth of Chinese imports.

"He wants to meet with President Xi very soon", White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday on Fox News.

The fact that a presidential-level meeting is still in the cards - and that both sides are now reportedly angling for it to happen in mid-to-late March - means that the 90 days of trade talks are likely to be extended past the March 2 deadline. However, amid pressure from the business community for the two sides to resolve the dispute, CNBC cited a senior administration official saying the March 1 deadline could be pushed back.

A new round of trade talks between the US and China begins in Beijing this week, with both sides hoping to reach a trade deal by the end of this month. China would likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced past year in retaliation.

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A growing number of US businesses and lawmakers have expressed hopes for a delay in the tariff increase while the two sides tackle the hard USA demands for major "structural" policy changes by China aimed at ending the forced transfer of American trade secrets, curbing Beijing's industrial subsidies and enforcing intellectual property rights.

The next leg of trade talk is due to resume in Beijing on Monday, the 11th of February, which will also be followed by a high-level talk between February 14th and 15th.

These include ending China's alleged violations of intellectual-property rights and forced transfers of American technologies.

Facing an economic slowdown at home, the Chinese government has a strong motivation to address American demands and put an end to the trade war.

USA negotiators will likely continue to urge China to make structural reforms and end what the US claims to be unfair trade practices.

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