US President Donald Trump on Monday said progress in developing the text of a partial trade pact with China means he will likely be able to sign it next month.
Trump remains upbeat on the chances Beijing and Washington will seal the mini-deal he announced earlier this month — marking a cooling-off period in the two nations’ damaging trade war.
“We’ll be able to, we think, sign a completed document with China on phase one,” Trump said at the White House.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said efforts to commit the agreement to paper before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month are “on track” though some work remains to be done.
“Our target is to have the phase one deal by the time you go to Chile,” Lighthizer told Trump.
Trump has said he expects to sign the partial deal on the sidelines of the summit when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
While details are scant, the new mini-deal includes a surge in Chinese purchases of American farm exports and also covers intellectual property, financial services and currency exchange, according to the White House.
Trump said Monday the Chinese “have started the buying.”
China sounded a positive note at a defense forum being held in Beijing, with the vice minister of foreign affairs saying they wanted “China-US relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability.”
With hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade now subject to additional tariffs, there are mounting signs the trade war — now in its second year — has damaged the world economy, adding to pressure on both sides to strike a deal.
“We don’t approve the tactic of brandishing the baton of tariffs at every turn and exerting maximum pressure on China,” said China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng.
“This practice is old thinking and will not work.”
However, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier Monday that the US side is not rushing to sign on the dotted line next month.
“We would like to make a deal,” Ross told Fox Business on Monday.
“But from our point of view, it has to be the right deal and it doesn’t have to be in November.”
While the White House has said the “phase one” deal touches on major issues, Ross said the heaviest lifting remained to be done.
“The real question is, do we get to an early signing of phase one?” said Ross, who is not a member of the US delegation to the trade talks.
“Second, how far do we get toward phase two or two and three? Two and three are really where the meat is.”
Expert: Trump’s ‘forward-leaning posture’ and ‘body tics’ are cause for serious concern
A professor of Neurology at George Washington University says he believes there may be legitimate concerns over President Donald J. Trump's "forward-listing posture" that goes beyond the comical memes and gif responses normally shared on social media.
"I know something about political figures and observable signs of illness from afar," Richard E. Cytowic M.D. wrote in Psychology Today. "... The American public deserves an accurate account of our president’s health."
Armed guards at Florida polling site say they were sent by the Trump campaign
Two armed men set up a tent outside of an early voting location in St. Petersberg, Florida, saying that they were the Trump campaign.
"The Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff's deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated, and this has not been confirmed yet, that they were hired by the Trump campaign," said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus.
"The sheriff and I take this very seriously," Marcus said. "Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter's ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security, and we had a plan in place and executed that plan."
Seth Meyers says Trump is so checked out he sounds like he’s already packing his stuff
President Donald Trump's closing message on his 2020 campaign career appears to be "'60 Minutes' was mean to me," and he doesn't really want to be in the White House anymore, said Seth Meyers during his "Closer Look" segment Wednesday.
Speaking about Trump's recent decision to walk out of a "60 Minutes" interview, Myers noted that it doesn't appear that Trump's heart is really in it anymore. Apparently, presidenting is no longer for once you start getting indicted.
"You can almost picture him on the other end of the phone in the White House packing his things in a cardboard box, not really paying attention, making half-hearted sh*t up because he knows it's what they want to hear," said Meyers.