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The Latest: Trump raises prospect of dropping Huawei charges

By The News · 22 of February 2019 21:24:02
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, while they line up for a group photo at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. China's economy czar is going to Washington for talks Thursday and Friday aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing's technology ambitions.(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File), No available, FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, while they line up for a group photo at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. China's economy czar is going to Washington for talks Thursday and Friday aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing's technology ambitions.(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S.-China trade talks in Washington (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the possibility of dropping criminal charges against Huawei would be discussed with U.S. attorneys and with Attorney General Bill Barr in coming weeks.

The Justice Department last month unsealed charges against the Chinese company, its chief financial officer — who had been arrested in Canada and several of its subsidiaries, alleging not only violation of trade sanctions but also the theft of trade secrets.

Trump is trying to work out a trade deal with China and was asked about Huawei before an Oval Office meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. He says a decision is pending, but “right now, it’s not something being discussed.”

Huawei, the biggest global maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies, denies accusations that it facilitates Chinese spying.

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3:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he will consider delaying a March 2 deadline to reach a trade deal with Beijing before he would escalate his tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump told reporters that he would “certainly consider” an extension if trade talks are going well. He said that talks between China and the United States in Washington will be extended through this weekend to give the countries more time to reach a breakthrough in their trade dispute. The two economic powers are engaged in a standoff that has worried financial markets and likely weakened the global economy.

A Chinese team led by Vice Premier Liu He has been meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other American officials.

The U.S. has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth; the tariffs on the $200 billion are scheduled to rise to 25 percent if there’s no deal.