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U.S. trade representative Lighthizer says 90 days a ‘hard deadline’ for China deal



FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks during a Cabinet meeting held by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday he considers March 1 “a hard deadline” to reach a deal on trade with China, and that new tariffs will be imposed otherwise.

“As far as I am concerned it is a hard deadline. When I talk to the president of the United States he is not talking about going beyond March,” Lighthizer said on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” referring to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to delay tariff imposition until March 1 while talks proceed.

“The way this is set up is that at the end of 90 days, these tariffs will be raised,” said Lighthizer, appearing to tamp down expectations that the negotiation period could be extended.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Lisa Shumaker