Trump Says U.S.-China Trade Talks Going 'Very Well'

W300

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said negotiators were making progress toward ending the current trade war with China but he offered no details.

US officials in Beijing on Tuesday held the second day of meetings with their Chinese counterparts, as part of the first face-to-face meetings since the countries agreed to a 90-day tariff cease fire last month. 

Punitive U.S. duties on $200 billion in imports from China are due to rise to 25 percent from the current 10 percent if negotiators fail to reach an agreement by March 1 -- a prospect that has roiled stock markets in recent months.

"Talks with China are going very well!" Trump said on Twitter, but gave no further information.

Economic data show the Chinese economy has suffered since Trump last year slapped stinging tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports.

U.S. officials say this gives Washington the upper hand in the talks as the trade war has yet to put much of a dent in the American economy.

However some signs of US slowing have begun to appear in recent weeks, with U.S. manufacturing activity in December seeing its biggest one-month drop since the global financial crisis in 2008.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is not in the delegation to Beijing, said Monday there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement with Beijing, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge.

Neither side has provided any details about the talks, but the Trump administration wants Beijing to abandon its strategy of seeking global industrial predominance through forced transfer -- and even the theft -- of American technology, and end massive state intervention in markets.

Analysts say it may be hard for Washington to win far-reaching changes during the 90-day truce both sides agreed to on December 1.