US President Donald Trump said Thursday negotiations to resolve his eight-month trade war with China were making progress, expressing fresh optimism about resolving the confrontation between the world’s largest economies.
Trump told reporters at the White House that the talks were ‘moving along pretty well.’
Chinese and American officials have alternated between expressing optimism that a deal is at hand and also warning that much remains to be done to resolve the trade war, which has rattled markets and dented manufacturing sectors on both sides of the Pacific.
The two nations have slapped painful tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade since July, but citing progress in the negotiations, Trump last month said he was suspending plains to raise duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
American officials have demanded far-reaching reforms to Chinese industrial policy which they say involves the theft of American technology and unacceptable state intervention in markets.
Analysts say that as China faces a slowing economy, Beijing will be eager to cut a deal and likely will offer deep concessions.
Citing trade uncertainty, among other causes, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Thursday announced renewed economic stimulus to boost growth on the Continent.
The US Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the trade deficit in goods with China hit $419.2 billion last year, the highest level ever recorded, despite Trump’s aggressive efforts tariffs on Chinese imports.