US-China deal could be signed by min­is­ters: White House

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Wash­ing­ton, US - A par­tial trade agree­ment be­tween the United States and China could be signed at the min­is­te­rial level, not by the two na­tions’ pres­i­dents, a top White House aide said on Fri­day.

Larry Kud­low, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, has fed op­ti­mism in re­cent days that ef­forts to com­plete the ‘phase one’ trade deal an­nounced last month by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump are mak­ing progress.

Trump had said that he ex­pected the text of a par­tial deal would be ready for sign­ing with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at an eco­nomic sum­mit that had been due to oc­cur in Chile last week. Chances for that evap­o­rated, how­ever, after of­fi­cials in Santiago can­celed the sum­mit.

Kud­low said on Fri­day there was still no pre­cise date set.

“I don’t want to hang num­bers on days, dates, days of the week,” he told re­porters.

“You know the two lead­ers may be able to put to­gether a sign­ing cer­e­mony. Both lead­ers have said from time to time their top min­is­ters could do it.”

Since Oc­to­ber, dif­fer­ences be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing over whether, when and by how much to re­duce tar­iffs on each other’s goods have since spilled out into the open.

Trump this month de­nied the Chi­nese Com­merce Min­istry’s claim that the two sides had agreed to roll back ex­ist­ing tar­iffs as part of the deal, de­tails of which have not been re­leased.

Larry Kud­low

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