Trump Says Tariff Deadline Could Be Pushed Back

The Trump administration is demanding far-reaching changes from China to address commercial practices that it says are deeply unfair

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U.S. President Donald Trump indicated Tuesday he could move back a March 1 deadline for the two countries to reach a trade deal so as to end the tariff war.

The high-stakes dispute has raised concerns it could spill over into the global economy after Trump previous year hit China with 25 percent punitive tariffs on $50 billion in goods, and then imposed 10 percent duties on another $200 billion in annual imports.

Trump's comments echoed those of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who earlier told reporters in Beijing: "So far, so good", when asked about the progress of talks.

While a new round of high-level US-Chinese trade talks will be held in Beijing from Thursday to Friday, the US delegation arrived in the Chinese capital for preparatory negotiations on Monday.

"We're looking forward to several important days of talks", he said in brief remarks.

Business groups and economists say the decision by the top trade envoys to participate suggests the talks might be making enough progress to require higher-level political decisions.

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The U.S. president hasn't been clear about whether he'll sit down to finalize a deal with Xi.

The alleged incursion by two US warships into the internationally disputed waters of the South China Sea was the second such move within five weeks. Extending the deadline could pave the way for a potential deal-clinching meeting with President Xi Jinping. When asked if the Navy's move would affect the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called it "a series of USA tricks, "according to Reuters".

Trump's comments on the China trade talks helped fuel a broad rally in the USA stock market, along with the president's comments that he did not anticipate another government shutdown despite not being "happy" with a tentative congressional deal for border security funding.

Another source confirmed that Xi was set to meet with the USA delegation in Beijing later in the week, without specifying the exact date. "March 1, tariffs go up". After meetings in Washington last week ended in a stalemate, officials kicked off another round of talks in Beijing.

Beijing accused the U.S. of entering Chinese waters without permission and engaging in provocations that threaten China's sovereignty.

"The hardliners seem loath to settle for a deal that represents anything less than total capitulation by China on all US demands", he said.

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