President Donald Trump, preparing to meet a Chinese trade delegation, has said the United States will not reach any final trade agreement with China until he sits down again with President Xi Jinping.
“No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future,” Mr Trump tweeted.
US and Chinese negotiators on Wednesday opened two days of high-level talks aimed at settling a trade war that has weakened both economies, shaken financial markets and clouded the outlook for global trade.
Chinaâs top trade negotiators are in the U.S. meeting with our representatives. Meetings are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides. China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct. I will be......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
....meeting with their top leaders and representatives today in the Oval Office. 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. Very comprehensive transaction....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
....Chinaâs representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
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. Without this a deal would be unacceptable!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
Mr Trump tweeted that the meetings are “going well with good intent and spirit on both sides”, even though the odds seem stacked against any substantive resolution.
Mr Trump has set a March 2 deadline for increasing tariffs on 200 billion US dollars worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.
He said: “All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved.”
But analysts doubt that the world’s two biggest economies can reach any comprehensive deal over the next month.
The United States is essentially demanding that China downsize its economic aspirations to become a supreme world leader in such fields as robotics and electric cars.
The American delegation is led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, a longtime critic of aggressive Chinese trade practices and of US policies that failed to blunt them.
The core of the US allegations against China is that Beijing systematically steals trade secrets, forces foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of access to the Chinese market and unfairly subsidises its own tech companies.