U.S. and Chinese trade officials are “close to finalizing” some parts of an agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said, adding that deputy-level talks would proceed “continuously.”
They made headway on specific issues and the two sides are close to finalizing some sections of the agreement. Discussions will go on continuously at the deputy level, and the principals will have another call in the near future. — U.S. Trade Representative’s office
The call came as Washington and Beijing are working to agree on the text for a “Phase 1” trade agreement announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Oct. 11. Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China’s President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.
The high-level call came a day after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence railed against China’s trade practices and what he termed construction of a “surveillance state” in a major policy speech. But Pence left the door open to a trade deal with China, saying Trump wanted a “constructive” relationship with Beijing.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, “Phase 1” can be inked as soon as possible and work on “Phase 2” can begin sooner than later.