US, China envoys hold talks before Trump tariff decision

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US and Chinese negotiators began trade talks Thursday that President Donald Trump says will help decide whether he escalates a fight over Beijing's technology ambitions by raising tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China.

Insisting that China "wants to make a deal very badly", Mr Trump said America has "never been in this position before" in negotiations with Beijing on trade.

President Donald Trump said last week that he likely won't meet with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, before the end of March as he'd previously planned.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters he could consider pushing back the March deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China if the two countries are close to a deal.

If the two sides can not reach a deal by March 1, USA tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

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

A growing number of US businesses and lawmakers hope the tariff increase is delayed while the two sides tackle the hard USA demands for major structural policy changes by China.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is leading a delegation set to meet with Chinese officials on Thursday and Friday.

Chinese officials also are balking at USA pressure to accept a mechanism to monitor whether Beijing carries out its promises, said Kuijs. "March 1, tariffs go up". "We're looking forward to several important days of talks", Mnuchin said to reporters.

"China will continue resisting USA demands in certain areas, such as changes to its industrial strategy and the role of the state in its economy", said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University economist who was head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. China never gave us 10 cents.

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The first source added that the host country would hold a banquet for the United States delegation in a Chinese restaurant, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He would attend the event.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns.

According to media reports, the meeting may take place in Vietnam on 27-28 February.

"We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations, as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future", the Navy spokesman said in the statement to ABC.

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