As the March 1st deadline for ending a trade standoff between the US and China looms, negotiations between the two countries are taking a serious turn even as top US negotiators head to China next week to usher in the next phase of the negotiation process. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected in China next week to deploy the third round of negotiations between the two countries that have lasted since late last year.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revealed that progress was being gradually made, but owned that there still exists a lot to cover to achieve a collateral and mutual trade agreement between the two economic giants. The 90-day negotiations have, since starting, spooked investors in stock markets in China and the US.
The US President Donald Trump has increasingly put more pressure on the negotiators to ensure they arrive at a deal soon enough. President Trump has repeatedly threatened increasing tariffs on various Chinese goods imported to the US if the two sides do not broker a permanent deal to end the standoff.
The US is showing much flexibility and is thus willing to extend the deadline beyond the March 1st self-imposed deadline – just for the two sides to agree to end the truth once and for all. Although White House has not revealed any plans, it is expected that the two presidents; President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, President Jinping, will be expected to meet at the end of February in anticipation of the final trade arrangements.
Earlier, towards the end of January, President Trump revealed in a tweet that he would be expecting to meet his counterpart to negotiate on some of the most difficult issues that the two countries have been holding for decades. Although no further details were revealed by the president in regard to such issues, it is expected that on the table will be the most recent militarization of the South China Sea by China, something that the US perceives as a major threat to international security.
The US-China standoff has united Republicans and Democrats as last week Senate Democrats send a letter requiring Mnuchin to apply more pressure to China and not back down on key issues of interest to the United States. With a possible deal anticipated in the near future, it is expected that the economic slowdown in China and the jitters in the US stock markets will be expected to settle down.