Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 June 2019

US to delay China tariff increase, says Donald Trump

The president's remarks underline recent improvement in economic talks between the US and China

Donald Trump in talks with China's Vice Premier Liu He in Washington last week.
Donald Trump in talks with China's Vice Premier Liu He in Washington last week.

The US is delaying a planned increase of tariffs on more than $200 billion in Chinese exports after "substantial progress" in trade talks, President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

Mr Trump said he planned to hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, to sign a deal.

"I am pleased to report that the US has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency and many other issues," he wrote on Twitter.

"As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.

"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. A very good weekend for the US and China."

Mr Trump had already expressed optimism about the negotiations on Friday after meeting China's vice premier, Liu He. The talks ended on Sunday.

Mr Xi also struck a positive tone in a letter Mr Liu delivered to Mr Trump, saying he hoped the negotiations would be held in a "win-win" spirit that would lead to a mutually beneficial agreement.

He expressed hope that the talks maintained a mutually respectful and co-operative attitude.

Mr Trump said on Friday that an agreement on currency manipulation would be included in the trade agreement, but few other details have been made public.

The seven-month trade war has rattled global markets and prompted stark warnings about the risks to the world economy.

Analysts say the two sides are likely to announce mutual agreements to resolve the easier parts of the dispute, such as increasing purchases of US goods, more open investment in China and tougher protection for intellectual property and proprietary technology.

The harder parts covering issues such as scaling back China's ambitious industrial strategy for global pre-eminence are another question.

Updated: February 25, 2019 09:00 AM