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China Very Badly In Need Of Trade Deal With U.S.: Trump

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President Donald Trump has said China wants a trade deal with the United States very badly, and indicated that the deadline to reach a trade deal with China could be extended if the talks are making good progress.

"Now, if we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal, and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that," Trump said in reference to a significant tariff hike scheduled to take effect on March 1.

He made the remarks after a Cabinet meeting at the White House Tuesday.

Asked if he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the end of March, Trump replied, "Not at this moment. We have our people over there now. I just got a report. Things are going well with China. China wants to make a deal very badly. I want it to be a real deal, not just a deal that makes - you know, cosmetically look good for a year. We have a chance to make a real deal with China," Trump told reporters.

Later he said that at some point, he expects to meet with President Xi, "who I have a lot of respect for and like a lot — and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make".

The retaliatory tariff hikes, as part of the ongoing US-China trade war, is currently frozen, as both countries agreed for talks to strike a deal by March.

Washington said it will increase import duty tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent if the deal is not achieved by that deadline.

Deputy-level talks to find a solution to the trade dispute is already underway in Beijing. High-level discussions, led by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, are set to start Thursday.

Meanwhile, U.S.-China experts said in a new report that opposing China across the board is not in the interests of the United States and the global economy.

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