President Trump gave his firmest indication yet that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods on March 1, as scheduled, despite statements by his top trade official that the U.S. should stick to a firm deadline.
That deadline to complete talks with Beijing is “not a magical date,” he told reporters Tuesday, as midlevel U.S. and Chinese negotiators started this week’s trade meetings. Cabinet-level officials will join the discussions Thursday.
Mr. Trump and his advisers have said they are considering a meeting with President Xi sometime in the coming weeks. Under that scenario, the Trump-Xi meeting would effectively act as the deadline for a deal. American officials want that session to take place in the U.S.