“President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration’s tariffs on Chinese imports could stay in place indefinitely until Beijing complies with a still-developing trade deal — which the president said ‘is coming along nicely,'” Jacob Pramuk reports for CNBC.

“‘We’re not talking about removing [tariffs], we’re talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time, because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal,’ Trump told reporters on the White House lawn as he left to visit an Ohio manufacturing plant,” Pramuk reports. “The president’s comments come amid conflicting reports about how close the world’s two largest economies are to reaching a deal and just what China is willing to concede in talks. Negotiations will restart next week when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin travel to Beijing.”

“Trump stressed that “we’re getting along with China very well” as the countries try to strike a deal and ease trade tensions that threaten sustained damage to U.S. businesses. ‘President Xi [Jinping] is a friend of mine,’ Trump said. ‘The deal is coming along nicely. We have our top representatives going there this weekend to further the deal,'” Pramuk reports. “The president has used the duties as a negotiating tool to push China toward a trade agreement.”

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MacDailyNews Note: On Tuesday, Bob Davis reported for Dow Jones Newswires that the U.S. and China are “aiming to close a deal by late April to end the yearlong dispute between the world’s two largest economies.”

“People tracking the negotiations said the talks appear to be in their final stages, following a rocky patch after Chinese leaders were unnerved by President Trump’s decision to abruptly break off nuclear-disarmament talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February,” Davis reported. “‘We’re in the endgame,’ said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If the two sides continue to make progress, he said, they should be able to finish a trade deal by the end of April…”

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