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China and US said to be nearing phase one trade deal

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 04 Dec 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The US and China are reportedly moving closer to agreeing a phase one trade deal despite tensions over Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Bloomberg cited people familiar with the talks as saying that the two nations were edging closer to an agreement on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a phase one deal.

The sources told Bloomberg that US President Donald Trump's comments at a Nato meeting in London on Tuesday downplaying the urgency of a deal shouldn't be understood to mean that talks were stalling.

One source said the US legislation passed last week in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and the more recent legislation, which requires the US president to condemn abuses against Muslims in China, were unlikely to affect the talks.

It was understood that US negotiators expect a phase one deal to be completed before US tariffs are set to rise on 15 December. Sources said outstanding issues in the talks include how to guarantee China's purchases of US agricultural goods and which tariffs to roll back.

Trump told reporters in London on Tuesday that he was in no rush to make a deal with China and that it would happen if and when he wanted it to.

"I don't think it's up to if they want to make it, it's if I want to make it. We'll see what happens," he said. "I'm doing very well if I want to make a deal, I don't know that I want to make it, they're going to find out pretty soon."

He also hinted that an agreement might not be on the cards until after the US presidential election in November 2020.

"In some ways I think it's better to wait until after the election with China. In some ways I want to wait until after the election for a China deal," he said.