US President Donald Trump expressed openness to continuing trade negotiations with China beyond the existing deadline of March 1, should the two sides be on the path towards a resolution, the Financial Times reports.
“If we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while,” Trump said during a cabinet meeting. “But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that.”
A US delegation, led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, is in Beijing this week for the latest round of talks. There have already been two high-profile meetings between the two countries since the start of the year, though the amount of progress made remains unclear.
Trump’s comments are at odds with the firm line held by other members of the administration until now. Just earlier this month, Lighthizer said: “I’m expecting that we have one deadline and that’s March 1 at midnight. March 1, tariffs go up.”