In this file:
· NYT: Trump Will Not Meet President Xi Jinping of China Before Trade Deal Deadline
· POLITICO: Trump says meeting with Xi not likely before March 1 deal deadline
· Brownfield: Graves: China the exception to good faith trade bargaining
Trump Will Not Meet President Xi Jinping of China Before Trade Deal Deadline
By Alan Rappeport, The New York Times (NYT)
Feb. 7, 2019
WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Thursday that he would not meet this month with President Xi Jinping of China, raising new concerns that the United States will not be able to complete a trade deal with China before American tariffs increase on March 2.
The decision not to meet ahead of the deadline was a reversal for Mr. Trump, who said last week that he planned to meet with Mr. Xi to resolve any “final issues” before a trade deal. Mr. Trump, who made the comments during two days of negotiations between American and Chinese trade officials, suggested a face-to-face meeting could be combined with his trip to Asia in late February for a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump ruled out such a meeting before the March deadline. Asked by reporters if the meeting with Mr. Xi would take place in the next month or so, Mr. Trump said: “Maybe. Probably too soon.” As to whether the two leaders would meet before the deadline, Mr. Trump said, “no” and nodded his head.
The United States has threatened to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent if a deal is not reached by March 2. Such an escalation would raise prices for companies and consumers on products imported from China and could incite additional retaliation from China, further ratcheting up a trade war that has already begun to inflict economic damage in both countries.
Both Mr. Trump and his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, have said that the March 2 deadline is a firm date and that the United States will not extend the timeline, which Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi agreed upon during a dinner in Buenos Aires last year.
But a senior administration official suggested on Thursday that, if talks continued to be constructive this month, it was possible that the president could change his mind and offer an extension. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was also possible that a deal could be reached without Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi meeting in person, with final details worked out by phone or video conference.
With talks moving quickly and many issues unresolved, it would be logistically difficult to arrange a presidential-level meeting on short notice, the official cautioned.
Still, it would be unlikely for an agreement of this magnitude, which Mr. Trump has described as the largest deal in history, to be closed from afar.
“If there is no Trump-Xi meeting to announce the deal, its life expectancy is short,” said Derek M. Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute...
Trump says meeting with Xi not likely before March 1 deal deadline
By Doug Palmer, POLITICO
President Donald Trump said Thursday he is unlikely to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for the two countries to reach a trade deal.
"No," he told reporters at a White House event when asked if he still expected to meet with Xi this month. "Unlikely," he said.
Trump did not rule out a meeting at a later date but said nothing had been set.
CNBC first reported earlier in the day that Trump and Xi were unlikely to meet before the March 1 deadline, even after Trump raised expectations last week that face-to-face discussions could take place by then. A senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO that a meeting was doubtful.
Trump has pledged to raise duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent, from 10 percent currently, if the two sides fail to reach a deal by March 1. He has already imposed a 25 percent duty on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing has responded by setting duties on $110 billion of American exports.
Trump tweeted last week that "no final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points." The administration wants China to change policies that it believes unfairly discriminate against American firms and steal their intellectual property. It's also asking for Beijing to take actions that will reduce the trade deficit that the U.S. has with China. The trade gap has risen to new records in 2017 and 2018 under Trump‘s presidency.
Trump's comments last week prompted speculation that he would meet with Xi either shortly before or after his coming summit with North Korean President Kim Jong Un. He announced during his State of the Union speech this week that the Kim meeting would be held Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam. But he made no mention of a possible Xi meeting.
The United States is not expected to extend its March 1 deadline for reaching a deal. To do so, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative would have to file a Federal Register notice, as it did in December, when it extended an earlier deadline. So far, there is no sign of that.
A large U.S. delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is headed to China next week for more trade talks. Mnuchin said...
Graves: China the exception to good faith trade bargaining
By Tom Steever, Brownfield
February 7, 2019
Congressman Sam Graves says China is the exception where trade negotiation progress is concerned.
“China is going to be a little bit harder moving down the road just simply because they don’t like to play by the rules,” said Graves, “but all other countries, the EU, South Korea and all the other renegotiated trade agreements are coming along very well.”
Graves, who represents northern Missouri, the state’s Sixth District, said Mexico, Canada, South Korea and the EU have been at the table willing to discuss equitable agreements.
“The fact of the matter is we’ve got countries like China that have been pushing us around, not playing fair for a long period of time,” said Graves, “and one of the things we want to do is make sure it is fair trade.”
The impact of tariffs, said Graves, has died down...
more, including audio [1:48 min.]