Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump promises 'epic' trade deal with China

Donald Trump promises 'epic' trade deal with China

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is leading the talks for the Trump administration, said there were still some "major, major issues" to resolve and praised Liu's commitment to reform in China.

After their meeting, Trump told Xi, "I want to thank you again - you're a very special man - for your gracious hospitality". "I mean, otherwise, it would be very tough for us to allow that to happen".

China is pushing for the tariffs to be removed before it will agree to lift its retaliatory tariffs on United States farm products and industrial goods including autos.

High-level trade talks between the countries resumed in Washington yesterday amid speculation that Mr Trump and President Xi were on the brink of scheduling a meeting to put pen to paper on a deal.

Intellectual property protection, as well as certain tariffs remain under discussion, Trump confirmed.

It remains unclear whether the United States will cancel some or all of the tariffs the president imposed a year ago on more than US$250 billion ($369.9b) worth of Chinese imports.

Announcement of a deal could come in "the next four weeks, maybe less, maybe more" and at that time, something "monumental could be announced", he said, adding, "We are rounding the turn".

Speaking from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before their bilateral meeting, Trump said, "My feeling toward you (President Xi) is an incredibly warm one".

Mr Trump also renewed his criticism of the US Federal Reserve, saying that the central bank had taken "unnecessary and destructive actions" that harmed the economy.

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U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. "But there's a very good chance that we'll have the summit", said the US President.

Drafts of an agreement to end a almost yearlong trade war would give Beijing until 2025 to meet commitments on commodity purchases and allow American companies to wholly own enterprises in the Asian nation, according to people familiar with the talks.

Trump said there was potentially for an "epic" and "historic" agreement.

Trump's remarks prolong the uncertainty over whether the world's two-biggest economies can end their nine-month trade war, which has disrupted supply chains, whipsawed markets, and weighed on the world economy.

Trump has previously threatened to impose punitive tariffs on all imports from China, more than a half-trillion dollars worth of products.

We have to make sure there's enforcement. As we said, there's great chemistry, and I think we're going to do tremendous things for both China and for the United States. We've discussed it at length. "I think it will be great for both countries".

At a Republican fundraising dinner in Washington on Tuesday, Trump spoke about his relationship with Xi, pointing out that he likes to call the Chinese leader "king" and remembering how Xi reacted when he brought up this honorific.

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce declined to answer questions on the target date at a press conference in Beijing Thursday or provide an update on the talks. The president has spoken of keeping at least some tariffs in place as leverage to encourage the Chinese government to comply with an eventual agreement.

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