The US President said that recent progress in trade talks means he will push back the raising of tariffs on a bundle of Chinese goods, adding that he will likely wrap up proceedings at a meeting with President Xi, Reuters reports.
“I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs scheduled for March 1. 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. A very good weekend for US & China!”
He added that the progress had been made in key areas of friction between the two countries, including intellectual property rights, currency valuations and forced technology transfers.
The news was a 180-degree swing from the chaotic atmosphere at the beginning of the weekend, when Trump openly rebuked Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for a recent set of MOUs drawn up with Chinese officials.
“I don’t like MOUs because they don’t mean anything. To me they don’t mean anything. I think you’re better off just going into a document,” said Trump.
Lighthizer then explained to the President that MOUs were “the way trade agreements are generally used” before agreeing with Chinese vice-premier Liu He that new terminology for the documents will be used going forward.