Trump asks China to 'immediately' remove agricultural tariffs

Trump asks China to 'immediately' remove agricultural tariffs
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE said Friday he has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to "immediately" lift all tariffs on U.S. agricultural products as Washington and Beijing work to bring an end to months-long negotiations over a trade deal.

“I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs on our agricultural products (including beef, pork, etc.) based on the fact that we are moving along nicely with Trade discussions and I did not increase their second traunch of Tariffs to 25% on March 1st. This is very important for our great farmers - and me!” Trump tweeted. 

The renewed request comes after a week of optimism that the U.S. and China are nearing a deal to end a trade dispute that has put billions of dollars of goods in the economic crosshairs.

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The U.S. was previously slated to increase tariffs on Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on March 1 pending resolution of trade talks.

Trump announced Sunday that he was delaying the scheduled boost in tariffs on Chinese imports, citing “substantial progress” in negotiations. He also said that talks to set up a summit with Xi were in the works.

“As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. 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!” he tweeted Sunday. 

Trump followed up his comments on Monday by proclaiming that he and Xi are “very, very close” to reaching a final settlement. The two sides had also decided in December to impose a 90-day détente on slapping on new levies as negotiations got underway. 

Prior to the truce, Beijing and Washington had put tit-for-tat tariffs on each other, with China targeting manufacturing and agricultural exports from key areas in the midwest to ramp up pressure on the White House.