President Trump receives update on China trade talks

Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

U.S. President Donald Trump heads back to the Oval Office after declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border during remarks about border security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2019 - Reuters

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters): President Donald Trump received an update on trade talks with China on Saturday at his Florida retreat after discussions in Beijing saw progress ahead of a 1March deadline for reaching a deal.

Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago Club, was briefed in person by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and trade expert Peter Navarro, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic adviser Larry Kudlow and other aides joined by phone.

The White House offered no additional detail.

Both the United States and China reported progress in five days of negotiations in Beijing this week but the White House said much work remains to be done to force changes in Chinese trade behaviour.

Shortly after the meeting with his trade team, Trump said on Twitter the talks in Beijing were “very productive.” At a White House press conference on Friday, he said the talks with China were “very complicated” and that he might extend the 1 March deadline and keep tariffs on Chinese goods from rising.

US duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to rise from 10% to 25% if no deal is reached by 1 March to address U.S. demands that China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.

Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He are to lead the next round of talks this coming week in Washington.