Trump addressed the talks during a Rose Garden press conference on Friday, saying talks were “going extremely well” but then immediately rebutted himself saying, “who knows what that even means because it only matters if we get it done.”
Trump has pledged to raise duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent on March 2, from 10 percent currently, if the two sides do not reach a deal to address U.S. concerns about intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, government subsidies and other issues.
On Friday, Trump said it was possible he could extend the deadline. If so, he said he would keep the tariffs at the same 10 percent level while talks continue. "We're a lot closer than we ever were in this country with having a real trade deal," Trump said.
Trump’s actions, while aimed at stopping Chinese trade practices that the White House argues siphon U.S. wealth, have resulted in pain for U.S. companies that buy from China or sell to China. American farmers, in particular, have seen their exports take a hit after Beijing retaliated on U.S. exports of soybeans, pork and most other goods.