Chinese and American officials both reported progress from the five days of trade negotiations last week, committing to further meetings in Washington this week alongside renewed hints of a truce deadlines extension.
The latest talks concluded with an agreement to work towards a memorandum of understanding covering several of the US’s gripes with China’s economic and trade practices, including market-opening reforms in financial services and larger purchases of American exports, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump was optimistic after hearing updates from the talks, repeating previous suggestions that “there is a possibility that I will extend the date” of the 90-day trade war truce due to end March 1.
“But if I do that – if I see that we’re close to a deal or the deal is going in the right direction – I would do that at the same tariffs that we’re charging now, I would not increase the tariffs,” said Trump.
The leader of the US delegation, Robert Lighthizer, who met with Chinese President Xi Jinping late last week, said that the two sides “have made headway on very, very important, and very difficult issues,” and that there is “additional work to do but we are hopeful.”
The positivity was echoed by Chinese state media. In a commentary, the People’s Daily said that the meeting with Xi “injected new impetus into the next stage of the development of Sino-US trade relations.”