From the Hardwood Federation
- On Sunday, February 24th, President Trump announced that the United States would delay the planned tariff increase on the third list of products imported from China—the list that triggered the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. hardwood and hardwood products.
- It is anticipated that the Chinese will also delay imposition of their retaliatory tariffs in response to the U.S. action.
- This announcement followed an intensive and extended set of senior-level negotiations over the last two weeks both in Beijing and in Washington D.C.
- No explicit period has been announced for the delay, however the President’s reference to planning for a summit at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping and follow-up statements on Sunday evening indicate that the extension is likely short-term into March.
Background: President Trump capped six days of intensive trade negotiations in Washington between U.S. and Chinese negotiators with a pair of tweets that claimed “substantial progress” in trade talks and announced a delay in the tariff increase (raising tariffs on List 3 products ($200 billion in Chinese imports) from 10 to 25 percent slated for March 2) for an unspecified period.
On Twitter, President Trump announced progress on a range of areas, including “important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues.” The White House has not yet released a formal statement but sources indicate that the two sides continued detailed discussions on formal outcome language in six broad areas, including both structural policy change and enforcement mechanisms for the five areas listed in the President’s tweet plus the broad category of non-tariff barriers.
President Trump’s statement did not include an announcement of any specific time period for the tariff delay but did state that the two sides could have “some very big news over the next week or two.” Negotiators for both sides are said to be planning for a summit between Presidents Trump and Xi at Mar-a-Lago in the near future. Previous statements from senior White House officials indicated potential March timing for such a summit, and President Trump’s follow-up remarks at the White House Governors’ Ball on Sunday night lent further credence to a quick turnaround, as he stated that the two sides could have “some very big news over the next week or two.”
Last week’s talks were originally scheduled for only four days (Tuesday-Friday), but were extended into the weekend to cement areas of progress for both sides.