Trump: US-China trade talks 'going well'

Trump: US-China trade talks 'going well'

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Thursday touted the chances of success of US-China trade negotiations as the talks entered a second day, saying Beijing was eager to make a deal.

Beijing's trade envoy Liu He (L) meets with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (R) at the Eisenhower Building near the White House

In a morning series of tweets, he also said a final deal would leave "NOTHING" unresolved but a bargain could only be struck after he meets with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "in the near future."

The meetings are "going well," Trump said on Twitter.

"China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct."

Media reports indicated the two sides were considering a meeting in Asia in late February to seal a deal, days before their three-month truce is due to expire and US duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese imports will more than double, sending a shock through the global economy.

The Wall Street Journal said Thursday that Chinese officials proposed a meeting on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea.

Chinese trade envoy Liu He is leading a 30-person delegation in the talks, which began Wednesday.

Signs of progress in the talks have lifted global stock markets in weeks as investors took heart that the world's two largest economies would avert a cataclysm.

But Washington's aggressive actions against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei -- which federal prosecutors accused this week of industrial espionage, sanctions violations and fraud -- threatened to upend the talks, drawing irate objections from Beijing.

The two sides last year traded blows, imposing steep tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, but the United States has more room to maneuver in the battle as it buys far more from China than the other way around.

'NOTHING unresolved...'

Beijing has unveiled economic stimulus to shore up its economy after posting its weakest growth in 2018 for almost 30 years -- underscoring its vulnerability in the trade fight.

But US officials, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, say the world's two largest economies are battling for nothing less than future dominance in critical high-tech industries.

A little over three years ago, Beijing launched a strategic plan dubbed "Made in China 2025" that aimed to make the nation the global leader in aerospace, robotics, artificial intelligence, new-generation autos and other areas -- sectors US officials say now represent the "crown jewels" of American technology and innovation.

US officials are attacking Chinese trade practices they say are unfair, spotlighting the forced transfer of American technology through requirements that foreign companies form joint ventures with local firms, as well as other methods of allegedly stealing American intellectual property.

"Looking for China to open their Markets not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other U.S. businesses and industries," Trump tweeted. "Without this a deal would be unacceptable!"

He said he would meet with Xi to address "some of the long-standing and more difficult points," calling the effort a "very comprehensive transaction."

"China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table," he wrote.

"All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved. Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"

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