Trump re­ports progress with China on trade

The Herald-Sun (Sunday) - - Nation - BY MARIA JOSE VALERO AND JENNY LEONARD

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said on Sat­ur­day that he’d spo­ken at length with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and that “big progress” is be­ing made toward a deal be­tween the world’s largest economies.

The agree­ment will be “very com­pre­hen­sive” and will cover “all sub­jects, ar­eas and points of dis­pute,” the pres­i­dent said in a tweet.

Trump’s com­ment comes as a U.S. del­e­ga­tion pre­pares to travel to Bei­jing early in the new year for talks with Chi­nese of­fi­cials, and is an­other sign that trade ten­sions may be cool­ing af­ter months of brinkman­ship.

China’s leader said both he and Trump hope to push for “sta­ble progress” in U.S.-China re­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to a Xin­hua News Agency re­port on the phone call. Xi added that China sup­ports fur­ther talks be­tween the U.S. and North Ko­rea, and hopes for pos­i­tive re­sults, Xin­hua re­ported.

The White House typ­i­cally doesn’t re­lease de­tails of Trump’s calls with for­eign lead­ers be­yond what the pres­i­dent re­veals him­self via Twit­ter.

Bloomberg News re­ported Thurs­day that a U.S. govern­ment del­e­ga­tion will travel to Bei­jing in the week of Jan. 7 for talks, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the plans.

Deputy U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jef­frey Ger­rish will lead Trump’s team, which will also in­clude Trea­sury Un­der­sec­re­tary for In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs David Mal­pass, ac­cord­ing to the peo­ple, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity. U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer, whom Trump named to be in charge of the China talks, isn’t sched­uled to join the del­e­ga­tion.

U.S. stocks got a boost this week from news of the up­com­ing talks.

The gath­er­ing will be the first face-to-face dis­cus­sion be­tween the two sides since Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day truce dur­ing a meet­ing in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1. Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin said Dec. 18 that the U.S. and China have held dis­cus­sions over the phone.

Bei­jing this week an­nounced a third round of tar­iff cuts, say­ing it would lower im­port taxes on more than 700 goods from Jan. 1 as part of its ef­forts to open up the econ­omy and lower costs for do­mes­tic con­sumers.

Trump has agreed to put on hold a sched­uled in­crease in tar­iffs on about $200 bil­lion in an­nual im­ports from China while the ne­go­ti­a­tions take place. He’s push­ing the Asian na­tion to re­duce trade bar­ri­ers and stop al­leged theft of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. Bei­jing so far has pledged to re­sume buy­ing U.S. soy­beans and to at least tem­po­rar­ily lower re­tal­ia­tory tar­iffs on U.S. au­tos.

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