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Letter from Washington

Political Insider

The Federal Government in D.C. is closed today because of an ice and snow storm.

“Federal Reserve Board offices in Washington, D.C. are closed due to inclement weather.

The FOMC minutes will be released as scheduled at 2:00 p.m. The daily and weekly statistical releases will be published on the first business day that Federal Reserve Board offices in the Washington, D.C. area reopen.”

President Trump’s schedule (EST):

12:30 PM:  Lunch with Secretary of State Pompeo; and

  1:50 PM:  Meets with Chancellor of Austria Kurz.

“Trump Eases Off Hard Deadline for China Tariffs.”  Last night’s Wall Street Journal article led with:

WASHINGTON—President Trump gave his firmest indication yet that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods on March 1, as scheduled, despite statements by his top trade official that the U.S. should stick to a firm deadline.

That deadline to complete talks with Beijing is “not a magical date,” he told reporters Tuesday, as midlevel U.S. and Chinese negotiators started this week’s trade meetings. Cabinet-level officials will join the discussions Thursday.

Mr. Trump and his advisers have said they are considering a meeting with President Xi sometime in the coming weeks. Under that scenario, the Trump-Xi meeting would effectively act as the deadline for a deal. American officials want that session to take place in the U.S.

Since mid-January, the two sides have met either in Washington or Beijing to carve out a deal to end a yearlong trade dispute that has rocked global markets and upended corporate investment plans. Mr. Trump has issued a series of contradictory statements about a deadline for talks, his plans to meet Mr. Xi, and whether he will increase tariffs at some point.

“The real question will be: will we raise the tariffs?” Mr. Trump said Tuesday. “I know that China would like not for that to happen. So I think they are trying to move fast so that doesn’t happen. But we’ll see what happens.”

He said, “I can’t tell you exactly about timing, but the date is not a magical date. A lot of things can happen.”

I’ve long suspected a phased withdrawal of tariff threats and tariffs themselves.

Political Insider

About Pete Davis

Pete Davis

Pete Davis advises Wall Street money managers on Washington, DC policy developments that affect the financial markets. Visit his website here daviscapitalinvestmentideas.yolasite.com.

Articles by Pete Davis

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