US official cites progress in China trade talks

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, front right, at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (LYT'-hy-zur) says "substantial progress" has been made as American and Chinese negotiators wind up two days of trade talks in Washington.

The two sides are trying to make progress toward a deal by a March 1 deadline. That's when U.S. tariffs against Chinese goods are scheduled to bump up to 25 percent from 10 percent.

President Donald Trump is trying to strike an optimistic tone after earlier casting doubt on the prospects of a deal. He says "we're going to have a great trade deal."

Trump tweeted, "China does not want an increase in tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct."

Trump is emphasizing that China will be increasing soybean purchases and calls the purchases "music" to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's ears. He says "that's going to make our farmers very happy."

Trump turned to Twitter again, tweeting, "China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving nothing unresolved on the table."

In another tweet, Trump said, " 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 difficult points."

The White House hasn't released details on when Trump might meet Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) as the leaders try to settle a trade war between the economic powers.

Trump tells reporters he's considering trying to see Xi when he's in Asia later this month for expected denuclearization talks with North Korea's Kim.

Trump says the time and date of his summit with Kim will be announced next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.