Administration

Trump considering meeting with China's Xi next month to finish trade deal

President Trump said Friday he is considering holding a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month as the U.S. and China near a historic trade agreement to address long-standing issues such as technology theft and tariffs.

Trump told reporters during a wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon that he and the Chinese leader are considering a meeting at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Fla., in March.

"Probably in Mar-a-Lago, probably fairly soon during the month of March," Trump told reporters following a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

"We're planning it with your schedule," added Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking to the president.

Trump also indicated that he would be willing to extend a 90-day trade action ceasefire with China that began last year and is set to end on March 1, citing progress made between U.S. and Chinese negotiators.

"Well, I set the deadline of March 1 and, right now, it's at 10 percent. And I think that if - and you could tell this to President Xi - that if I see progress being made, substantial progress being made, it would not be inappropriate to extend that deadline, keep it at 10 percent instead of raising it to 25 percent. And I would be inclined to doing that," he said.

The two countries implemented tit-for-tat tariffs on each other over the course of 2018, with trade barriers on billions of dollars of Chinese imports expected to rise to 25 percent if negotiators do not reach an agreement over issues such as China's alleged theft of trade secrets from U.S. companies and currency manipulation.

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