Trump says he may let China trade deal deadline slip

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Meanwhile the U.S. president Donald Trump also said that he would not meet China's president Xi Jinping before truce deadline, March 1st, GMT.

The meeting is likely to be another effort to clinch a trade deal with the USA heading into the March 1 tariff 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.

"But at some point, I expect to meet with President Xi, who I have a lot of respect for and like a lot, and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make", Trump said.

Aides to Trump say this week's talks are important as they need to demonstrate credible progress to both the president and financial markets.

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Those tariffs now stand at 10 percent, but an additional $50 billion worth of imports has already been hit by a 25 percent tariff.

The White House said there would be a preparatory meeting of senior officials beginning February 11 and the talks would include officials from the Agriculture, Energy and Commerce Departments.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are now in Beijing, two days ahead of high-level talks with their Chinese counterparts. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and US declarations that much more work was needed. China would likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced past year in retaliation.

A growing number of US businesses and lawmakers have expressed hopes for a delay in the tariff increase while the two sides tackle the hard USA demands for major "structural" policy changes by China aimed at ending the forced transfer of American trade secrets, curbing Beijing's industrial subsidies and enforcing intellectual property rights.

The US negotiators had been preparing for pressing China next week to reform its intellectual property transfer right rules in order to seal a decipherable deal, which could prevail further losses resulted in the tariff war, the amount of which could breach trillions. Beijing officials have yet to offer satisfying proposals on United States demands.

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