Trump says U.S-China trade deal could be announced in about four weeks

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping arrive for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

By Jeff Mason and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a trade deal with China was getting very close and could be announced in about four weeks, but warned it would be difficult to let China keep trading with the United States if remaining issues were not resolved.

Speaking to reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump said some of the tougher points of a deal had been agreed but there were still differences to be bridged.

“It’s got a very, very good chance of happening. I think that will be great for both countries,” Trump said, adding he would hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping if there were a deal.

“I would say we’ll know over the next four weeks,” Trump said.

China and the United States are in the middle of intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies that has rattled global markets.

Trump declined to say what would happen to U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods as part of a deal.

Asked about the benefits of an agreement for China, Trump said China “will continue to trade with the United States. Otherwise it would be very tough for us to allow that to happen,” he added, without elaboration.

Goods trade between the United States and China totaled $660 billion last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, consisting of imports of $540 billion from China and $120 billion in exports to China.

In comments during his meeting with Trump, Liu cited “great progress”

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