Feb 22, 2019

U.S.-China trade talks are extended

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (center) with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (right) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) at Feb. 21 trade talks in D.C. Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua/via Getty Images

The latest round of U.S.-China talks will continue for another two days.

What's happening, from AP:

President Donald Trump says he will consider delaying a March 2 deadline to reach a trade deal with Beijing before he would escalate his tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.
Trump told reporters that he would “certainly consider” an extension if trade talks are going well. He said that talks between China and the United States in Washington will be extended through this weekend to give the countries more time to reach a breakthrough in their trade dispute.

Details: According to various reports, the two sides reached a deal on currency stability, the Chinese agreed to buy more U.S. goods, and Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet at Mar-a-Lago in late March.

Yes, but: There remain significant unresolved issues, as Bloomberg writes...

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is leading talks for the White House, said the two sides have made progress on structural issues related to the Chinese economy but still have major hurdles to clear.

My thought bubble: It sounds like the easy wins have been made (they were there for the taking, for a long time). The Chinese have resisted significant concessions and it's not clear what leverage the American president wants to use before March 1 to convince them to move much more.

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