US President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that trade talks with Chinese representatives in Washington were going well but wrote no final deal will be signed until he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“China does not want an increase in tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal,” tweeted Trump, adding that “they are correct.”
The US leader continued, however, that “No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points.”
On Wednesday, a Chinese delegation led by the country’s Vice Premier Liu He, arrived at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, where cabinet ministers will spend two days trying to settle a trade war that is in its seventh month.
The sides are expected to discuss protection of US intellectual property, the forced transfer of US technology through joint ventures, and enforcement mechanisms to verify that China follows through on any promised changes.
Washington has repeatedly accused Beijing of stealing trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of access to the Chinese market, and subsidizing its own tech companies. As part of the standoff between the world’s two biggest economies, Washington imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with levies on $110 billion in US goods.
Trump has threatened to extend the tariffs to an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods if a trade deal is not reached by the March 1 deadline. The White House also plans to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. China has called US measures protectionist.