By Michael Hernandez
U.S. President Donald Trump conditioned any prospective trade deal on a sit-down with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
"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," Trump said in a series of lengthy Twitter posts as a Chinese delegation visits Washington for trade talks.
While no formal meeting has been announced, CNBC reported U.S. and Chinese officials are seeking to arrange a summit between the leaders in late February. If confirmed that would be right around the time Trump is slated to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for nuclear talks.
The Chinese trade delegation began two days of negotiations with U.S. counterparts Wednesday.
Trump said the talks "are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides" ahead of a March 1 deadline when new tariffs would take effect.
Trump and Xi agreed in December to a 90-day pause in the trade war between the world's top two economies to allow time for negotiations to proceed.
"China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct," Trump said. "China’s representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved. Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"
Trump said any deal must include China opening its market to U.S. financial institutions, manufacturing and agriculture as well as other unspecified "businesses and industries."
He later voiced optimism a deal will be reached by the mutually-imposed deadline, saying if it does happen "it would be by far the largest trade deal ever made."
"Can you get it down on paper by March 1st? I don’t know. I can tell you on March 1st the tariff on China goes to 25 percent," he told reporters at the White House before meeting with the Chinese delegation later Thursday.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.