In this file:
· AP: WH official: US, China in 'final weeks' of trade talks
… “Our hope is that we are in the final weeks of having an agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer tells the Senate Finance Committee…
· NYT: Lighthizer Casts Doubts on China Trade Talks as ‘Major Issues’ Go Unresolved
… “major issues” must still be resolved and that it was impossible at this point to predict success…
WH official: US, China in 'final weeks' of trade talks
by Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press
via CityNews (Canada) - Mar 12, 2019
WASHINGTON — The top U.S. trade negotiator suggests that the U.S. and China are nearing an agreement that would end their trade conflict, but wouldn’t commit to a specific time frame.
“Our hope is that we are in the final weeks of having an agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer tells the Senate Finance Committee.
But there are still major issues that need to be resolved, he says. “I can’t predict success at this point.”
Lighthizer also says the agreement would have to include an enforcement provision that would enable the U.S. to restore tariffs on Chinese imports if it violated provisions of the pact. That is seen as a major sticking point for Chinese officials...
Lighthizer Casts Doubts on China Trade Talks as ‘Major Issues’ Go Unresolved
By Alan Rappeport, The New York Times (NYT)
March 12, 2019
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s top trade negotiator raised doubts on Tuesday that a trade agreement with China was within reach, saying that “major issues” must still be resolved and that it was impossible at this point to predict success.
Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, told lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee that he could not predict when, or even if, a deal would be reached but said that he hoped the negotiations were in the “final weeks.”
“I don’t know when something’s going to happen,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “We’re either going to have a good result or we’re going to have a bad result before too long.”
Mr. Lighthizer said there would be no agreement if outstanding issues were not resolved in “a way that’s beneficial to the United States.”
His comments contrasted sharply with Mr. Trump’s more optimistic take last month, when he said that “significant progress” had been made in resolving the yearlong trade war with China and that he would not raise tariffs on Chinese goods. Mr. Trump predicted that he would soon meet with President Xi Jinping of China for a signing ceremony at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida resort.
But administration officials have since become less sanguine about the potential for a quick deal, and Mr. Trump has indicated that he is prepared to “walk” from a deal if it is not in the United States’ interest...