Stocks surge following US decision to postpone China tariff hike

Stocks surge following US decision to postpone China tariff hike

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that the US and China were "very very close" to signing a trade agreement, which could end the damaging trade war between the two countries, the BBC reports.

"The U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues", Trump said in a Twitter posting on Sunday evening.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland also predicted that American workers would lose almost 1 million, if tariffs on 200 billion US dollars of Chinese imports increased from 10 to 25 percent. During a meeting with Chinese Vice Premiere Liu He on Friday in the Oval Office, suggested it would take place sometime in March at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement.

On Twitter, Trump said the two sides had made headway on issues including protection of trade secrets, forced technology transfer and USA agricultural sales to China.

The president did not set a new date for imposing the higher tariffs should the talks not yield results.

Nearly 53 percent of respondents favored leaving the tariffs in place or increasing them to 25 percent as a way to keep the pressure on China while the negotiations continue; another 43 percent said they should be removed. "There is still a yawning gap between the two sides on major issues due to USA lack of trust in China's commitments on structural issues and China's unwillingness to make any fundamental changes to its industrial and economic strategies".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that as talks were still on-going, his understanding was that numerous details could not yet be revealed. Securing some rather minor concessions from China to purchase more soybeans from the USA was the easy part, but forcing sweeping changes to its trade practices - the so-called "structural reforms - will be extremely hard, if not potentially unobtainable".

"Glad 2 hear that Pres Trump won't be increasing tariffs on China March 1 but I hope Lighthizer/Trump won't take a half deal as a good deal", tweeted Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the trade and tax-focused Senate Finance Committee.

Trump said on Friday there was a "good chance" a deal would emerge.

Mr. Trump tweeted his decision to delay the higher tariffs February 23. The exasperation between the two erupted into the open during an unusual public exchange in front of China's top negotiator, assembled U.S. officials and journalists on Friday, during which Trump took issue with Lighthizer's explanation that any deal would take the form of an MOU. But his lead trade negotiator, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, emphasized then that some major hurdles remained.

The two sides are also negotiating an "enforcement mechanism" and includes a list of 10-commodities that China will be buying from the United States.

The United States also wants to curb Beijing's industrial subsidies, which Washington says fuels excess production.

To which, Lighthizer acquiesced, saying he would use the term "trade agreement" instead. There was no daylight between the two men, the source said.

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