US, China trade deal expected before tariff increase

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as France's President Emmanuel Macron talks during a meeting ahead of the NATO summit in Watford in London Britain

When asked about his comments China's foreign ministry said Beijing too had no timeline for ending the protracted trade war, where on-again off-again negotiations have destabilised markets and stoked geopolitical tensions. The President said there was no-deadline for the trade deal and a deal would be completed when he was ready. Planned US tariffs on remaining Chinese imports will take effect on Dec 15, barring significant progress in the talks or a deal, he said. "In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth".

The president added that Washington is in a stronger negotiating position than the Chinese regime, given China's weak economic performance.

China has warned that U.S. legislation calling for a tougher response to Beijing's treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority will affect bilateral cooperation, clouding prospects for a near-term deal to end a trade war.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who were responsible for human rights abuses against Muslim minorities.

"What President Trump envisions with tariffs is a means to an end, and the end ... is free trade", he said.

On Tuesday, US lawmakers also voted overwhelmingly to pass a Uighur rights bill, which could impose sanctions against senior Chinese officials over the crackdown on mainly Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang if Trump signs it into law.

Negotiators have continued to work on the trade deal.

A steady string of worldwide firms, including Apple, Dell, Google, Amazon, toymaker Hasbro have announced plans to shift part of their USA bound production from China to neighboring countries, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

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Ross said that the tariffs scheduled to take effect on December 15 will stay in place unless "enough substantive progress has been made" in trade talks.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have become increasingly strained following the passage of a bill backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong last week. But sources familiar with the talks say the two sides are still wrangling over the details including whether existing USA tariffs on Chinese goods will be removed and how much in additional United States agricultural products China will buy.

Ross noted Tuesday the European Union imposes a 10% tariff on US cars, while the USA imposes a 2.5% tariff on European Union cars.

Gold prices on Wednesday hovered near a one-month high hit in the previous session, as comments from U.S. President Donald Trump dashed market hopes for a quick preliminary agreement with China, driving support for safe-haven assets.

Beijing said on Monday it had banned U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong ports and sanctioned several US-based non-governmental organisations. He has threatened to tax them by as much as 25%.

Ross said the regime's retaliation barring USA port calls was "fairly modest".

Earlier on Monday, Trump said the Hong Kong legislation didn't help trade negotiations with the regime.

"The president has used essentially the economic dialogue that's happening between China and the United States and say: look, it's going to be very hard for us to do a deal if China doesn't deal with Hong Kong peaceably and humanely", Pence said.

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