“Big progress” is being made towards striking a deal on trade between the two largest economies of the world – United States and China, said US President Donald Trump on Saturday after he said that he had spoken to the Chinese President Xi Jinping at length.
Trump said in a tweet during the weekend in Washington that the agreement will be “very comprehensive” and will cover “all subjects, areas and points of dispute”.
The comments by Trump come as a trade delegation from the US is set to travel to China in the beginning of next year to discuss trade issues between the countries with Chinese counterparts. The comments of Trump and the scheduled negotiation in Beijing single cooling of trade tensions between the two countries. It also clearly indicates that both Xi and Trump are following through on the pledge that they had made while announcing the 90 day truce in the trade war in Argentina on December 1.
According to a Xinhua News Agency report on the leaders’ phone call, Xi said that both he and Trump hope to establish “stable progress” in US-China relationship and that the bilateral relation between the two countries has reached critical stage.
Xinhua also reported that both the leaders had discussions about multiple international and regional issues, Xi added about his telephonic conversation with Trump. He added that they had also talked about the intention of China to support more discussions between US and North Korea and hoped for positive results.
The reports did not however mention who initiated the call. There was no comment from the White House because it typically does not provide any detail of discussions between Trump and other foreign leaders over telephone calls.
According to a report published by Bloomberg News on Thursday quoting sources, in the week of January 7, a trade delegation from the US government would travel to Beijing. The delegation would be led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and would also include Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass, according to the report. The delegation would not include US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer who was named by Trump to head the China talks.
The news of the upcoming talks resulted in a boost to US stocks which had been badly impacted by the trade war and its uncertainty.
The meeting between the trade representatives of the two countries would be the first of its kind since Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day truce to the trade war on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. The US and China have held discussions over the phone since then, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said on December 18.
Trade representatives from both the countries have been busy creating a framework for a trade agreement between the two countries which includes issues such ensuring access to larger portions of the Chinese economy for foreign companies such as in the financial sector.
But the Wall Street Journal reported late on Saturday that the statement by Trump about the state of the negotiations could be overstated about how close the countries are to an agreement.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)