President Trump Delays Increase to China Tariffs Due to “Substantial Progress”
Since first hitting the campaign trail in 2016, one of the topics that now President Donald Trump has hit one more than nearly any other (save “The Wall”) has been China. Thus, once ascending to the highest office in the land, the president has taken aim at the People’s Republic of China, resulting in a trade war that escalated throughout the past year. However, as an agreed upon “ceasefire” nears its end, there seems to be some progress in negotiations between the two superpowers.
This weekend President Trump announced he would delay a spike in tariffs rate that would impact $200 million in goods from China. As Axios notes, plans would have called for tariffs to increase from 10% to 25%. Previously these hikes would have occurred on January 1st before a 90-day truce was reached.
As you might expect, word of this extension came via Twitter, with the President writing on Sunday, “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. As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.” The President continued, announcing a potential meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying, “Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”
The news of a potential summit with China is the latest trade-related development to come after tariffs dominated economic headlines last year. After railing against NAFTA for months, the President reached a replacement last year aptly dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. That deal has yet to be ratified by a Congressional vote.
So far the U.S. markets have reacted positively to the potential trade news, with the Dow up as much as 180 points midday. Of course it may be too soon to celebrate just yet as trade tensions have proven as volatile as the stock markets themselves. Ultimately we’ll have to see if the Mar-a-Lago meeting comes to fruition soon and if an actually on-paper deal can be reached before the twice-delayed tariffs do finally take effect.