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Trump Optimistic Ahead of Tariff Talks With Chinese Leaders

President Donald Trump seemed optimistic ahead of an Oval Office meeting with Chinese officials for tariff negotiations ahead of a March 1 deadline in a flurry of tweets Thursday.

“Meetings are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides,” he wrote on Twitter Thursday. “China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct. … No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points.”

He added: “China’s representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved. Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!”

China’s top economic official Vice Premier Liu He is part of the delegation in the U.S. Jan. 30 and 31. He was scheduled to speak with both U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The talks proceeded to a second day despite an unexpected event Wednesday. A uniformed U.S. Secret Service officer was injured as an unnamed individual was arrested for attempting to “impede the progress” of the Chinese delegation’s motorcade near the White House.

The two nations had agreed on preliminary concessions at the G20 Summit in late November and early December. Trump had agreed to no new tariffs.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, reported NPR. NPR also reported:

The president has often complained about the U.S. trade deficit with China — $335 billion in 2017 and on pace to surpass that for 2018. China has signaled a willingness to buy more American products, such as soybeans and natural gas. But American negotiators are looking for more structural changes in the trade relationship, including an end to China’s intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of U.S. technology.

The talks with China come just days after the U.S. Department of Justice charged Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on several counts of fraud on Monday.

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