Trump says US-China trade talks 'going well'

The collapse of talks would dash hopes of a lasting truce that would remove one of the darkest clouds hanging over the world economy

President Donald Trump said negotiations are going well on the last day of high-level trade talks between the USA and China but that no deal will be final until he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He added that "No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more hard points". Vietnam has been discussed as a potential venue, so adding a stop to bargain with Xi might work, some analysts said.

The dispute comes after U.S. officials accused China of unfair trade practices, including the alleged theft of American intellectual property through hacking.

"Let me just remind people, we do have another 30 days after this so my expectation is we'll make significant progress at these meetings, but I would just emphasize these are complicated issues", Mr Mnuchin said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer leads the American delegation, while the Chinese team is headed by Vice Premier Liu He.

There is widespread scepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal by the 1 March deadline.

The U.S. and Chinese officials met at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building located next to the White House, opening two days of high-level talks.

Lovely said the presence of China's vice premier at the bargaining table, and the anticipated meeting between Liu and Trump, are encouraging.

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There were also questions about whether imported cars were eligible for tax breaks and scrappage schemes and whether imported goods were eligible for a Chinese fund for promoting energy saving products. The meeting underscores the dialogue's seriousness.

Trump has not yet directly involved himself in the current round of trade talks with the Chinese delegation, but assured his followers that so far things had gone well. But American negotiators are looking for more structural changes in the trade relationship, including an end to China's intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of USA technology.

Trump said any deal must include China opening its market to US financial institutions, manufacturing and agriculture as well as other unspecified "businesses and industries". The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 8 per cent since early October, though it has rebounded since Christmas.

A deal for additional Chinese purchases of American goods can be completed quickly.

Among the priorities in the current talks are protection of United States intellectual property, the forced transfer of USA technology through joint ventures, and enforcement mechanisms to verify that China follows through on any promised changes. "Very comprehensive transaction", Trump said. "Any deal that does not include China opening its markets for manufacturing and agricultural products to US producers will be" unacceptable", the president wrote.

"China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table", Trump wrote.

While the administration says its prosecution of Huawei is not related to the trade talks, the case illustrates what authorities have described as a long-standing problem in China.

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