Trump optimistic on possible China trade deal

President Trump was optimistic about a possible trade deal with China by a March 1 deadline, as he met with China’s top trade negotiator at the White House Thursday afternoon. In the meeting, he was presented with a letter from the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. 

The president briefly spoke to reporters before meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, saying that China has agreed to purchase 5 million tons of U.S. soybeans per day.

Mr. Trump tweeted ahead of his meeting with Liu Thursday afternoon that “meetings are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides.” The president has expressed some optimism about reaching a deal in the next month, but says “no final deal will be made” until he meets directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“China’s representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved. Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!”

“Looking for China to open their Markets not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other U.S. businesses and industries. Without this a deal would be unacceptable!” the president also tweeted. 

If the U.S. and China reach an agreement on trade, the president told reporters on Thursday, it will be the largest in the world.

But some of the president’s top advisers took a more guarded approach to the outcome of the talks. 

These are historic talks, I’m not here to predict the outcome,” top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in a discussion with reporters in the Roosevelt Room Thursday afternoon. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is leading the talks, said the important thing for such conversations is that they do “not come off the rails,” which these talks have not. 

“Will we have an agreement? I don’t know,” Lighthizer added. 

The Chinese talks are taking place after the U.S. indicted Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co. and its CEO earlier this week on 13 counts, including fraud. 

Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday afternoon that the intended summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “coming along” and will occur at the end of February. 

Categories: Government & Politics

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