Trump asks China to lift tariffs on USA farm products


Bloomberg reported Friday that the eyeing a summit between Presidents Trump and Xi as soon as mid-March. -North Korea talks, the Trump administration may now need China's help more than before, adding one more reason for the White House to finalize the trade deal. Beijing imposed tariffs a year ago on imports of soybeans, grain sorghum, pork and other items, slashing shipments of American farm products to China. Washington is considering removing most sanctions levied against Chinese products since a year ago, the WSJ reported, citing unnamed sources.

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back USA tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on US goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.

In a move meant to respond to Trump's repeated demands for a narrowing of America's trade gap with China, Beijing would also increase its purchases of USA goods, including a possible multi-billion-dollar buys of natural gas from the Cheniere Energy group.

"I'm never afraid to walk from a deal, and I would do that with China , too, if it didn't work out", the president said.

As part of a deal, China is pledging to speed up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and to reduce tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%.

A senior administration official cautioned on Sunday that a decision had not yet been made over lifting the U.S tariffs.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer last week urged Mr Trump to hold out until he gets a deal that addresses structural issues in China's economy.

Asked during a congressional hearing last week whether a deal would see a lifting of US tariffs, Robert Lighthizer, the China hawk now leading the talks with Beijing, would say only that was China's desire.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expressing optimism that trade talks with China aimed at ending tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products will be successful.

Trump and members of his economic team have has sounded optimistic about the chances for sealing a deal.

Trump a week ago delayed a tariff increase on $200 billion in Chinese goods that was previously scheduled to take place on Saturday, citing progress in the talks. China bought US$130 billion in USA goods in 2017, according to USA figures.

Mr Trump on Friday asked China to immediately remove all tariffs on U.S. agriculture, though he didn't indicate if his demand was limited to retaliatory duties or more far-reaching.