US President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to hold a ‘signing summit’ with China’s President Xi Jinping to seal a trade deal, since negotiators ‘very, very close’ to an agreement.
Negotiators worked through the weekend and citing progress in the four day so talks, Trump extended the March 1 deadline, postponing for now a sharp increase in tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
Trump said he expected trade negotiators to resume quickly ‘and we’re going to have another summit.’
‘We’re going to have a signing summit, which is even better. So hopefully we can get that completed. But we’re getting very, very close,’ he said at a meeting with US governors.
Trump last week he expected to meet with Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in March.
After exchanging punitive tariffs on more than $360 billion in total two-way trade, Trump and Xi declared a truce in December and agreed to hold off on further tariffs or retaliation for 90 days. The United States was poised to more than double the tariffs on the most recent and largest round of Chinese exports.
Trump told the state leaders late Sunday to expect ‘very big news over the next week or two.’
Officials and economists worldwide have been watching the negotiations closely as the trade war has hit company profits, raising prices for importers and cutting sales for exporters, which could erode global growth if it is not resolved.
But even after four rounds of talks, progress towards achieving the more difficult parts of a deal has been unclear.
News reports indicate China has pledged to resume or increase purchases of US agricultural goods but Washington is pushing for changes to the country’s industrial strategy and enforceable protections for American technology.