China is offering new hope that the “phase one” trade deal that’s supposed to be a boon for U.S. ag exports can be finalized and signed this month. High-level U.S. and Chinese trade officials continued trade talks Friday and were able to reach a “consensus on principles,” according to a statement released Friday by China’s Commerce Department.
The negotiators, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, moved on to begin discussing phase two, the Chinese said.
Meanwhile, President Trump on Friday threw out a possible new location where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could sign the pact: Iowa.
Trump and Xi were hoping to sign the phase one deal at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 16-17, but the event was canceled because of massive street protests.
“I don’t think we’re looking at a long delay,” USDA trade undersecretary Ted McKinney said about the loss of the Santiago venue. “I don’t get a sense that either president wants to delay this … Both want to get it done.”