President Donald Trump announced that the US would delay the increase of tariffs on Chinese goods as talks to end the trade war between the world’s two largest economies continue.
“I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.”
The delay comes less than a week before the 90-day trade war truce agreed to by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was set to expire. After the original March 1 deadline, US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods were set to increase from 10% to 25%.
Many economists and business leaders warned that such an increase would be damaging for the US economy.
Chinese and Trump administration officials have held three rounds of formal talks among high-level officials since the original truce was agreed to in December. Chinese officials stayed over the weekend to continue talks in Washington, adding on two days to their original trip.
The talks come after almost a year of back-and-forth tariffs have tied up roughly $360 billion worth of goods going between the US and China. The US currently has additional duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods while China has hit $110 billion worth of US goods with additional tariffs.
The trade war has led to strain for some US businesses and contributed to the Chinese economic slowdown in recent months.
The Trump administration launched the trade war in an effort to force China to reform their economic practices, including the theft of US intellectual property by Chinese firms and the ability of foreign companies to work in China. So far the Chinese have been unwilling to make significant concessions in these areas.
Trump previously said that any final deal would need to come after a one-on-one meeting with Xi.
“Ultimately, I think the biggest decisions and some even smaller decisions will be made by President Xi and myself,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
In the tweet Sunday, Trump suggested that the meeting could happen at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.
“Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement,” the president tweeted. “A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”