Trump flexible on China tariff deadline as he seeks the ‘real deal’

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The two sides are trying to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when USA tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

"When the time is right, the hope would be that the personal chemistry that exists (between Trump and Xi) will pay dividends", said Erin Ennis, senior vice-president at the U.S.

President Trump has said he will not agree to any trade deal with China without meeting with President Xi first, though this meeting is not expected to happen before the March deadline.

USA tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China are scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if the two sides can not reach a deal by the deadline, increasing pain and costs in sectors from consumer electronics to agriculture.

Wheat rose 1¢ to $5.18¼ a bushel in Chicago while Kansas City futures declined ¼¢ to $4.94 a bushel.

Two U.S. guided-missile destroyers on Monday sailed near the Chinese manmade island of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, the location of several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to meet with top United States officials in Beijing this week, a report said Wednesday (Feb 13), as the world's two biggest economies rush to patch up their trade differences before a looming deadline.

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China's delegation will be led by Vice Premier Liu He, who will be joined by central bank governor Yi Gang.

He told journalists at a cabinet meeting in the White House the may let the deadline slide for a little while and China wants to make a deal very badly.

President Donald Trump said he is open to letting a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products pass without penalty if the two sides are near an agreement, sending a conciliatory signal as talks to resolve a trade war between countries continue. They're inching closer to a March 1 deadline to come to an agreement.

Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the USA regularly drawing Chinese ire.

US stocks rallied on Trump's trade comments, along with a tentative congressional spending deal aimed at avoiding another government shutdown.

During State of the Union address last week, Trump told a joint session of US Congress that any trade deal with China must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices.

A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and United States declarations that much more work was needed.

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