WASHINGTON: US president Donald Trump declared that talks with China on the first phase of a trade deal were near completion after negotiators from both sides spoke by phone, signalling progress on an accord in the works for nearly two years.
“We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s going very well.”
The president said later in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that he’s holding up the trade deal to ensure better terms for the US.
“I’m holding it up because it’s got to be a good deal,” he said in the interview for O’Reilly’s website. “We can’t make a deal that’s like, even. We have to make a deal where we do much better, because we have to catch up.”
Trump announced on October 11th that he had reached the outlines of a “substantial” but partial deal that would see China ramp up purchases of US farm goods, make new commitments to protect US intellectual property, refrain from manipulating its currency and further open its financial sector to foreign investors.
Since then, the two sides have been wrangling over how to put the deal on paper and what tariffs the US will drop in exchange.