Thursday, February 28, 2019

What's moving markets today: Live updates - CNN

Trump’s top trade negotiator tells Congress that talks with China have been "very intense" and “serious” – but that more work is necessary to reach a deal.

Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, told House lawmakers Wednesday that the US is making real progress, but added that “much still needs to be done both before an agreement is reached and, more importantly, after it is reached, if one is reached."

Lighthizer also noted that no deal would be completed unless “all" issues along with enforcement are agreed upon.

US stocks slid on Lighthizer’s comments, with the Dow down as much as 150 points.

Lighthizer said the process is under way for the Trump administration to update the Federal Register notice before the March 1 deadline soon so that tariffs don’t escalate from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of goods.

Additionally, when asked about whether a currency deal with China had been ironed out, Lighthizer says, “There’s no agreement on that until there's an agreement on everything," he says. "We've spent a lot of time on currency and it will be enforceable."

He also described the deal with China as a “binding agreement” but have no intention to submit it to Congress.

"This is a settlement of a 301 action...we're not changing any tariff lines. We're not using TPA,” he said.

"This is not a free trade agreement,” says Lighthizer. “My scope is narrow here, it’s based on 301.” 

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