US says March 1 'hard deadline' for trade deal with China

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday (Dec 9) he considers March 1 “a hard deadline” to reach a deal on trade with China, and that new tariffs will be imposed otherwise.

“As far as I am concerned it is a hard deadline. When I talk to the president of the United States he is not talking about going beyond March,” Lighthizer said on the CBS show Face the Nation, referring to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to delay tariff imposition until March 1 while talks proceed.

“The way this is set up is that at the end of 90 days, these tariffs will be raised,” said Lighthizer, appearing to tamp down expectations that the negotiation period could be extended.

Lighthizer has been tapped to lead the talks, which were announced last week at the end of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting in Argentina.

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