Trump says ahead of schedule to sign part of China trade deal

US President Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Oct 28, 2019.
US President Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Oct 28, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump said on Monday (Oct 28) he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.

"We are looking probably to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal, we'll call it Phase One but it's a very big portion," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before leaving on a visit to Chicago.

Leaders of the world's two biggest economies are working to agree on the text for a "Phase 1" trade agreement announced by Mr Trump on Oct 11.

Mr Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China's President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.

Mr Trump on Monday said the signing was planned for the summit but made a reference to recent political unrest in Chile and said he believed they could work things out.

The US president said the phase one portion would "take care of the farmers" and "also take care of a lot of the banking needs."

"So we're about I would say a little bit ahead of schedule maybe a lot ahead of schedule," he said.

Agricultural products are a major area of discussion.

 

Beijing and Washington are trying to calm a nearly 16-month trade war that is roiling financial markets, disrupting supply chains and slowing global economic growth.