TRADE UPDATE: President Trump Predicts "Signing Summit" With China

02:31PM Feb 26, 2019
Trade is always a contentious issue between the world's two largest economies, the US and China.
( MGN )

President Trump's decision to extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports is creating cautious optimism in global markets.

President Trump announced over the weekend he would extend the deadline citing "substantial progress" in talks between the two countries. He tweeted Sunday that there have been "productive talks", adding "I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1."



The President says that if negotiations continue to progress, he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort to finalize an agreement. Before heading to Vietnam for talks with North Korea's leader the President spoke about the negotiations, saying "I told you how well we did with our trade talks in China and it looks like they'll be coming back quickly again and we're going to have a summit.  We're going to have another summit, have a signing summit, which is even better, so hopefully, we can get that completed, but we're getting very, very close."

During talks that extended into the weekend, our Washington sources say U.S. and Chinese negotiators discussed the issue of how to enforce a potential deal. The two sides also discussed Chinese commitments to purchase commodities.

Officials aim to iron out differences on changes to China's treatment of state-owned enterprises, subsidies, forced technology transfers, and cyber theft.

The Shanghai Composite jumped 5.5% on Monday on the news.  The U.S. stock market also rose.  

Jake Parker is the Vice President of the U.S.-China Business Council.  He called the President's announcement a "positive signal" that a resolution may soon be in sight. Parker said, "State-owned enterprise reform, industrial policy changes are not items that can be resolved overnight or would be reasonable to expect to be resolved in 90 days, so by finding a way where the two sides can come to some kind of agreement, and then put these more challenging issues into a longer term negotiating framework, it should have a very positive impact on the overall relationship."

Parker says the uncertainty over trade tensions has meant many business operations of U.S. companies in China have "ground to a halt", and an agreement would help their situation.  

Farmers are also interested in seeing a resolution.  AgDay TV spoke with Wayne Fredericks.  He's a farmer in Osage, Iowa.  He said, "We are trying to make decisions about planting acres and so forth, so as we look into the coming year, this is a market we have worked so hard to build.  It's in question right now. I hope we can get something solved to normalize trade relations with China because they are a big customer of ours."

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