China trade teams far apart on reform demands

Trump’s take on trade echoes Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of ‘socialism

President Trump is reportedly considering extending the March 1 deadline for the imposition of higher tariffs on China by 60 days as the world's two largest economies continue trade negotiations.

The hurdles raise questions about whether negotiators can meet Trump's criteria for pushing back the March 1 deadline for more than doubling tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet on Friday that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had "productive meetings" with China's Vice Premier Liu He.

Trump's comments echoed those of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who earlier told reporters in Beijing: "So far, so good", when asked about the progress of talks.

The source added that the Chinese delegation may leave Beijing on Tuesday.

China's exports across the Pacific fell more than 2 percent in January from a year earlier, data from the customs administration showed, after shrinking in December.

Mr Trump has indicated he is flexible to the March 1 deadline, suggesting he would let the date "slide for a little while" if a deal was in sight but would prefer not to do so.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr Trump's private Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida would make a good venue for the two presidents to thrash out final talks before putting pen to paper on a deal to avoid the tariff spike.

A Ministry of Commerce spokesperson, Gao Feng, told reporters at a regular weekly briefing that he had no details on the status of the talks.




Specifically, Lighthizer has zeroed in on China's alleged abuses of intellectual property and state sponsorship of companies.

Beijing has offered to massively ramp up its purchases from the U.S. over the next six years to even the scales.

Chinese leaders have offered to narrow their multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

Still China's trade surplus with the USA for the month stood at $27.3 billion.

China's nationalist state-run Global Times tabloid said in an editorial late on Wednesday that though Washington had started the trade fight, it "was now more willing to reach an agreement".

As for the tone/sentiment, the report states that "it wasn't immediately clear if there was progress in resolving any of the thorny issues separating the two sides".

Copper has declined by 17% from its June 2018 high over worries of a slowdown in China and the impact of a trade war with the U.S., but the longer term prospects for the metal remain rosy. While Chinese officials have repeatedly pledged to improve market access for foreign investors, few experts expect Beijing to agree to anything that would force fundamental changes to what Washington complains is its state-led approach to trade.

"China will never harm its fundamental interests".

The International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday of a possible global economic "storm" as world growth forecasts dip, citing the US-China trade row as a key pivot point.

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