U.S. Trade Negotiators Travels To China Next Week To Continue Trade Talks

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 in Buenos Aires
China confirmed a report that U.S. delegation is scheduled to travel to Beijing early in January to discuss trade issues. (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

President Donald Trump's trade negotiators are scheduled to fly to China next week to continue the trade talks between the United States and the Asian economic giant before the March 1 deadline approaches.

The U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to visit China for the third round of trade negotiations following last week's critical trade talks in the United States with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his team.

Mnuchin confirmed the plan to pursue the trade talks during an interview with reporters in the White House on Wednesday. He said that they are making progress but there is still a lot of work to do. According to a U.S. official, the trade talks last week went well and the U.S. administration is trying to keep the momentum going as the 90-day deadline approaches. Officials, however, acknowledged that the talks are still far apart on key issues.

The U.S. President announced that he will increase the tariffs and impose the third wave of penalties on Chinese goods imported to the United States if the two sides are unable to agree on a permanent truce to end the trade war. He also suggested that he is willing to close a deal that could extend the negotiations beyond the self-imposed deadline at the end of the Month. The Trump administration, however, stands firm on the March 1 deadline.

It is not certain whether the leaders of the two rival economies will meet anytime soon. A U.S. official said that the two nations were setting up the meeting of the two leaders at the end of February. Mnuchin, however, said that nothing has been scheduled as the United States wait to see how much progress can be achieved next week. He added that right now, the intent is that the United States meets the March 1 deadline and, if there are remaining issues that they can't get closed, he thinks that President Trump expects that he's going to sit down with President Xi and address those issues and they'll figure out if needs to do that.

President Trump said on his tweet that he is the chief negotiator when it comes to China and there will be no final agreement unless he personally meets with the Chinese president. Top Democrat leaders advised the Mnuchin to keep the pressure on China and not to back down on key structural issues in order to break a deal.

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