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China’s Xi to meet US officials as tariff deadline looms

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Addis Ababa, February 13, 2019 (FBC) – Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to meet top American officials in Beijing this week, a report said on Wednesday, as the world’s two biggest economies rush to patch up their trade differences amid threats of an expanded trade war.

On Friday, Xi will meet with officials including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are in the Chinese capital for crunch talks over a trade deal, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday,” it said, quoting a source briefed on the arrangements.

The US officials and their Chinese counterparts are also scheduled to meet for talks on Thursday and Friday.

The United States is scheduled to raise import taxes on $200bn worth of Chinese goods on March 2 if the two sides fail to resolve their differences.

The two countries have already slapped tariffs on more than $360bn in a two-way trade, which has weighed on their manufacturing sectors and shaken global financial markets, according to Aljazeera.