Trump says could let deadline for inking trade deal with China slide

13 February, 2019, 04:09 | Author: Wade Massey
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The United States and China are heading back to the negotiating table to try and iron out their differences on trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday he is open to postponing a trade deadline with China if negotiators make sufficient progress on a deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looks forward to several important days of trade talks, he said on Tuesday after arriving in the Chinese capital for high-level talks to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline.

Trade talks between the USA and China have resumed and China is reportedly upbeat.

The question they are mulling is how to do that while maintaining pressure on China and the urgency that has accompanied the current discussions.

Trump told reporters in January that he planned to meet Xi in late February, though he backtracked on that last week and said a gathering wouldn't take place this month. They are also eager not to let the timing of a Trump-Xi meeting aimed at closing the deal slip much past the end of March.

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"We respect all countries' right for freedom of navigation and flight under global law, but we firmly oppose any action to jeopardize the sovereignty and security of countries under the pretext of freedom of navigation", Hua said Monday. But the White House's Conway said a meeting was still possible soon.

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. China would likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced past year in retaliation.

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.

"U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea", Doss said in a statement. The American-side often doesn't announce such sail-bys in the South China Sea, where China's claims overlap with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Speaking about the most recent operation, Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, told CNN that the action was meant to "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law".

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