After 'substantial progress', Trump to delay hike in tariffs on China

Updated: Feb 26, 2019, 11:59 IST | Agencies

US President plans to meet his Chinese counterpart to reach a final deal to end their trade war

Donald Trump with Xi Jinping. Pic/AFP
Donald Trump with Xi Jinping. Pic/AFP

US President Donald Trump has announced that he would be delaying an increase in tariffs against China after recent talks between the two nations made "substantial progress", and plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to reach a final deal to end a trade war.

The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other's goods. Trump and Xi agreed to halt any further tariff increases for 90 days beginning January 1. Tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports into the US were set to rise from 10 per cent to 25 per cent this Friday. Trump cited progress made during trade talks in Washington DC last week as a reason to delay the tariff increase.

"I am pleased to report that the US 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 tweet. "As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1," announced the US president. Trump met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office on Friday, and both men expressed optimism that a deal to end the trade war could be reached.

'North Korea could be a great power'
North Korea could become one of the world's "great economic powers" if it relinquishes its nuclear weapons, Trump said on the eve of his departure for Vietnam for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "And I think it can be, really, one of the great financial and economic countries anywhere in the world," said Trump. Trump's comments came hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Pyongyang remains a nuclear threat.

Korean War could be over at Hanoi
Hopes that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War at the Hanoi summit rose Monday, after South Korea said the two leaders could reach an agreement. The devastating conflict between communist North Korea, backed by China, and the capitalist South, aided by the United States, ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving Pyongyang and Washington technically at war. "I believe the possibility is there," said South's Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

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