Published: Sat, November 02, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

'Consensus on principles': US-China trade deal in sight

'Consensus on principles': US-China trade deal in sight

They remain concerned about US President Donald Trump's impulsive nature and the risk he might back out of even the limited deal both sides say they want to sign in the coming weeks.

Three weeks ago, the US leader met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, leading the two countries to agree to a "phase one" deal that includes China's purchase of $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products as well as guidelines on intellectual property.

US and Chinese negotiators are working to finalize the deal in time for Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign it at a summit in Chile in mid-November.

"China and the US are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement", Trump said on Twitter.

However, details remain scarce and the positive statements were nearly identical to those made last week, even though President Donald Trump announced the partial deal on October 11. "There are lots of options out there for the two leaders to sign the deal". "But it seems more likely that they'll have trade ministers or ambassadors sign the "phase one" deal and save the leaders' meeting for later".

In his UN General Assembly address in September, President Trump justified the $500 billion+ in tariffs on Chinese goods, saying his administration's policy was aimed at "restoring balance" in the trade relationship between the two countries following decades of trade deficits and "unfair trade deals" by his predecessors.

"Consultations should happen one step at a time", the official said, requesting anonymity.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that Chinese officials continue to harbor doubts about whether they can strike a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington.

China and the United States have reached a consensus on principles after Friday talks between the two countries' top trade negotiators, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

For now, Kudlow said planned USA tariffs on Chinese-made laptops, toys and other goods that are due to go into effect on December 15 would remain on the table.

But weeks after it was announced, the second-largest economy has still not confirmed the agricultural quotas the White House touted.

"I personally think that the two sides hope to reach an "armistice agreement" by the end of the year".

There is no obvious worldwide meeting in the near future where Trump and Xi could meet on the sidelines, since Trump is not attending the East Asian Summit in Thailand next week, one diplomat said.

"The agriculture chapter is about closed down", Kudlow told reporters.

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