Trump delays Chinese tariff hike beyond March 1 deadline, citing “substantial progress”

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President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CBS News)- President Trump said he is delaying the imposition of new tariffs on China beyond a coming deadline of March 1, citing “substantial progress” made in trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators. Mr. Trump also said he plans to host Chinese President Xi Jinping for a summit at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, “assuming both sides make additional progress.”

“I am pleased to report that 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,” Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday evening, saying the outcome marked a “very good weekend for U.S. & China!”

U.S. and Chinese negotiators have been meeting in Washington and Beijing to hammer out the details of a new trade agreement ahead of the March 1 deadline, when tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods were set to increase from 10 to 25 percent absent a deal.

The president hosted the Chinese vice premier at the White House on Friday and had a lively exchange with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in front of reporters about what form an agreement would take.

Mr. Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day truce in the two countries’ burgeoning trade war after meeting in Argentina in December.

The president announced the delay in the tariff hike ahead of the opening of Asian markets on Monday morning, and the day before he is set to depart for Vietnam for a second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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