USA officials arrive in China for trade talks as deadline looms

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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was "looking forward" to crunch negotiations with China as he emerged in Beijing on Tuesday with global attention focused on whether the two sides can reach a trade deal.

Those tariffs now stand at 10 percent, but an additional $50 billion worth of imports has already been hit by a 25 percent tariff.

The dispute has escalated to encompass $360 billion in trade between the two economic superpowers, and without an agreement by the start of March, the Trump administration is poised to more than double the punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Lighthizer, who arrived at the hotel earlier in the day, did not answer reporters' questions. "I could see myself letting that slide for a little while", Trump said at the White House.

But at the same time, Trump says he's not inclined to do that.

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Trump told reporters in January that he planned to meet Xi in late February, though he backtracked on that last week and said a gathering wouldn't take place this month.

Talks kicked off in Beijing with discussions among deputy-level officials on Monday before minister-level meetings later in the week. But the two sides are only just starting the work of drafting a common document and are still tussling over how a deal may be enforced, which USA officials have repeatedly called a crucial element. China will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of United States goods that it announced past year in retaliation.

Washington is expected to keep pressing Beijing on long-standing demands that it make sweeping structural reforms to protect American companies' intellectual property, end policies aimed at forcing the transfer of technology to Chinese companies, and curb industrial subsidies.

Both the Chinese government and Huawei have dismissed these concerns. Beijing officials have yet to offer satisfying proposals on U.S. demands.

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