April 4, 2019
by Margaret Talev and Justin Sink
President Donald Trump said Thursday a deal to end the trade war between the U.S. and China isn’t yet ready but a “very monumental” agreement may be announced in about a month.
“We have a ways to go,” he told reporters at a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House. “We are rounding the turn.”
Liu met with the president after two days of talks between Chinese and American trade negotiators. Trump didn’t announce a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finish the deal.
“If we have a deal, then we’ll have a summit,” Trump said.
He said intellectual property protection, certain tariffs and enforcement of the deal are all outstanding issues that haven’t been resolved.
“We’ve agreed to far more than we have left to agree to,” he said. “This is the granddaddy of them all.”
He said he would discuss tariffs with Liu in their meeting but didn’t elaborate.
Drafts of an agreement to end a nearly 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 three people familiar with the talks.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that there were still major issues to resolve in the agreement. Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser, said that “the last mile of the marathon is actually the longest and the hardest.”
U.S. stocks rose earlier on Thursday amid reports the two sides were making progress. Markets have been rattled by the uncertainty around the negotiations.
Under the proposed agreement, China would commit by 2025 to buy more U.S. commodities, including soybeans and energy products, and allow 100% foreign ownership for American companies operating in China. Those would be binding pledges that could trigger U.S. retaliation if unfulfilled, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
Other non-binding promises China has offered to implement by 2029 wouldn’t be tied to potential U.S. retaliation, they said, without elaborating.
The limited scope and time frame of the deal raises questions about whether it would reshape the longer-term economic relationship, rather than simply serve as a political win for Trump ahead of his re-election campaign.
--With assistance from Jeffrey Black, Jennifer Jacobs, Saleha Mohsin, Yinan Zhao, Miao Han, Dandan Li and David Sucherman.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at [email protected] Joshua Gallu
© 2019 Bloomberg L.P
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