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US trade official: 90 days "hard deadline" for trade deal with China

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (KUNA) -- US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer affirmed Sunday that the March 1st deadline for reaching a trade deal with China is a "hard deadline." Speaking to CBS "Face the Nation," Lighthizer said "as far as I'm considered, it's a hard deadline." He noted that when he talked to President Donald Trump "he's not talking about going beyond March, he's talking about getting a deal. If there's a deal to be gotten, we want to get it in the next 90 days." He indicated that at the end of the 90 days "these tariffs will be raised on USD 200 billion from 10 percent to 25 percent, if we don't get a satisfactory solution.
"My hope right now is to focus on that. If there's a deal to be done, we'll make it. The president wants us to make a deal," he added.
He stressed "but, it has to be verifiable, it has to be monitored, it can't be just vague promises like we've seen over the last 25 years." On China summoning the US ambassador demanding answers over the arrest of a top executive at Chinese telecom company Huawei in Canada last week at US request, Lighthizer said "it's my view that it shouldn't really have much of an impact" on the trade talks between the US and China.
"I can understand from the Chinese perspective how they would see it that way. That is a criminal justice matter.
It is totally separate from anything that I work on or anything that the trade policy people in the administration work on. So for us it's unrelated. It's criminal justice," he remarked.
For his part, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox network regarding the Huawei prosecution that is a "law enforcement action." He affirmed "it is a very important issue because the evidence suggests, at least so far, the alleging suggests that Huawei did break the Iranian sanction through different financial channels." (end) si.mb