Trump Says Could Extend March 1 China Trade Talks Deadline

Deputy trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish was due to lead the US delegation in preparatory meetings to begin on Monday the White House had said

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would consider extending the deadline for a trade deal with China beyond March 1. On the bipartisan agreement on border security, Trump said he's "not happy", but that he may still back it. Encouragingly Trump said "I don't think you're going to see a shutdown", although the added "If you did have it, it's the Democrats' fault".

A second source said that Xi is expected to meet the United States delegation in Beijing this week, although the specific timing has not yet been confirmed.

The US has said it will increase tariff rates on $200bn worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% if the two sides don't strike a deal by 1 March.

Wheat rose 1¢ to $5.18¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures declined ¼¢ to $4.94 a bushel.

China's trading partners say those violate Beijing's market-opening obligations and some American officials worry they might erode US industrial leadership.

"But at some point, I expect to meet with President Xi.and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make", he said, in reference to senior US and Chinese officials in charge of trade negotiations.

While Mnuchin described last week's talks as very productive, he said a "wide range of issues" needs to be worked out.

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The Chinese delegation will be led by Vice Premier Liu He, China's point man on trade, and central bank governor Yi Gang.

Chinese officials expressed tentative optimism about making a breakthrough in its trade dispute with the United States as the two sides resumed talks.

James Green, a senior research fellow at Georgetown University, believes China is seeking a Xi-Trump meeting, hoping it would make a near-term deal on tariffs far more likely. While the American side has expressed optimism, officials caution that there are still many large issues between the USA and China. Just earlier this month, Lighthizer said: "I'm expecting that we have one deadline and that's March 1 at midnight".

USA stocks rallied on Trump's trade comments, along with a tentative congressional spending deal aimed at avoiding another government shutdown.

Talks kicked off in Beijing with discussions among deputy-level officials on Monday before minister-level meetings later in the week.

A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and U.S. declarations that much more work was needed.

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