Citing substantial progress, President Donald Trump has extended the March 1 deadline for reaching agreement on a U.S.-China trade agreement and heading off a jump to 25% in U.S. tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese exports. “The U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” the President tweeted. “As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1.”
The President did not indicate how long the extension would last. He did say that he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to conclude the agreement at an unspecified date. President Xi would be unlikely to be able to leave China before the end of the annual “Two Sessions” meetings, which are due to finish in the middle of March.
Stocks rose modestly on the news with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index closing head 0.12% for the day and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.23%. The NASDAQ Composite was up 0.36% and the Russell 2000 small cap index fell 0.08%. International stocks were more enthusiastic. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) gained 1.12% and the Shanghai Composite soared 5.6% on the day