The United States and China are discussing a late March meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinpingin Florida, according to sources familiar with the situation. Sources also confirmed to CNBC that China has committed to buying up to $1.2 trillion in U.S. goods, though the two sides remain far apart on issues concerning the forced transfer of intellectual property.
The summit would be at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Representatives for the two nations resumed overall trade discussions on Tuesday, and follow-up sessions at a higher level began Thursday.
Current talks between the two nations are aimed at “achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China,” the White House said in a statement earlier this week. The Trump administration is led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, a vocal advocate of pressing China to end practices that the U.S. says include intellectual property violations.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday as China and the U.S. end another week of trade talks. Liu has been named special envoy to China’s Jinping, meaning he has the authority to negotiate directly on trade matters with the U.S.
Any meeting between Trump and Xi in March would follow their dinner in Argentina in December and come amid a prolonged tit-for-tat trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Both nations have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods, adding to global economic growth fears as well as worries about ripple effects in key supply chains and manufacturing.
U.S. duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if Washington and Beijing fail to reach an agreement by a March 2 deadline. However, Trump said earlier this week that the deadline was not a “magical date,” hinting it could be moved.