US, China trade negotiators discuss core concerns of phase one trade deal

The two sides discussed each other's core issues for the first phase of an initial trade agreement, and agreed to maintain dialogue.
The two sides discussed each other's core issues for the first phase of an initial trade agreement, and agreed to maintain dialogue.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - United States and Chinese trade negotiators held “constructive discussions” in a phone call on Saturday (Nov 16) to address each side’s core concerns of phase one of the trade deal, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He, the country’s key negotiator in the trade talks with the US, spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the report said.

The call was held at the request of the US negotiators, and the two sides agreed to remain in close communication, Xinhua said.

US stocks rose to all-time highs and Treasuries edged lower on Friday after an American official hinted that the US and China are close to locking down a partial trade deal.

The S&P 500 reached another record and gained for the sixth week in a row, the longest streak in two years, after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late Thursday negotiations between the two countries were nearing the final stages.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which past 28,000 for the first time, and the Nasdaq Composite also hit all-time highs.

The dialogue on Saturday followed a phone call between the trade negotiators earlier this month, where the two countries signalled they are getting closer to agreeing on the first phase of a deal aimed at reducing tensions in a trade war that has slowed the global economy.

The three spoke by phone at the time and separately released statements describing the call as “constructive”.