China said Friday that it has reached a consensus with the U.S. in principle after a phone call among high-level trade negotiators this week.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday. It said the two sides conducted “serious and constructive” discussions on “core” trade points and talked about arrangements for the next round of talks.
The White House said in a statement Friday that the trade representatives “made progress in a variety of areas and are in the process of resolving outstanding issues. Discussions will continue at the deputy level.”
Last month, the U.S. and China reached a truce and started working to finalize a “phase one” trade agreement that includes a pause in tariff escalation and China buying U.S. agriculture products. President Donald Trump said Thursday that a new location for signing the limited deal will be announced soon after the initial gathering in Chile was canceled due to protests over public transport fares.
Trump also said the phase one trade deal represents 60% of a long-term agreement. However, a report Thursday showed China is doubtful about reaching a comprehensive trade deal with the U.S. due to Trump’s “impulsive nature.”
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic advisor, told Fox Business Network Friday the two countries haven’t completed negotiations on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer, adding financial services and currency chapters of the trade deal are “virtually wrapped up.”
Many on Wall Street have expressed skepticism of the “phase one” deal, believing it represents a much smaller portion of the resolution than Trump had originally set out to pursue.