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.”
‘That’s bribery’: Nancy Pelosi explains why Trump is in deeper water than he thinks
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday explained why President Donald Trump could be guilty of attempted bribery.
At a press conference, Pelosi pointed out that bribery is named in the U.S. Constitution as an impeachable offense.
"What is the bribe?" the Speaker was asked.
"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance [from Ukraine] in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That is bribery," she explained.
Watch the video from Fox News.
LIVE COVERAGE: Multiple victims reported in Southern California school shooting
Police are searching for a shooter who opened fire at southern California high school.
The Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's office tweeted Thursday around 8 a.m. local time that shots had been fired at Saugus High School.
Saugus was placed on lockdown, along with nearby elementary schools.
Multiple victims were reported at the school, although few details were released.
The shooter remains at large.
After surprise ruling, firearm-makers may finally decide it’s in their interest to help reduce gun violence
Mass shootings have become a routine occurrence in America.
Gun-makers have long refused to take responsibility for their role in this epidemic. That may be about to change.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12 refused to block a lawsuit filed by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting victims, clearing the way for the litigation to proceed. Remington Arms, which manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used in the attack, had hoped the broad immunity the industry has enjoyed for years would shield it from any liability.