China says working with US on trade deal

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US President Donald Trump-who last month said he expected to hold a summit with President Xi Jinping in March-said Thursday the trade talks were "moving along pretty well".

"Nothing in cement, but there's a lot of talk about a meeting", the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser told CNBC.

China's data on Friday showed its surplus with the United States narrowed to $14.72 billion in February from $27.3 billion in January, and it has promised to buy more US goods such as agricultural products as part of the trade discussions.

Beijing is hopeful about its next round of trade talks with the US, China's vice minister for commerce said Saturday, after revealing that top negotiators had tried to hammer out a deal over burgers and eggplant chicken, reported AFP.

But Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, speaking on Bloomberg Television at almost the same time as Trump, said the USA wants a good deal with China, not a rushed one. I think we're doing well ... So, we're obviously very happy with that.

The increasingly weak China data comes amid months of intense negotiations between Washington and Beijing aimed at ending their trade dispute. 'Both sides agree that there has to be significant progress, meaning a feeling that they're very close before that happens'.

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Aimed at assuaging concerns about China's business environment for foreign firms, Beijing sees the law as a tool to attract more foreign investment as its economy slows. "If this isn't a great deal, I won't make a deal". In Hanoi, that left him empty-handed halfway across the globe, though he and his aides insist there was still progress made even without a final joint statement.

"That is to remove all the tariffs imposed on each other, so that bilateral trade relations between China and the United States can return to normal".

"There may be a meeting in Florida, Mar-a-Lago between the two leaders, maybe late this month or early next month".

A central hang-up between the two sides remains the enforcement mechanisms that would verify Chinese compliance with the deal's terms, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

Washington and Beijing a year ago exchanged punitive tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade but have recently indicated they are close to coming to terms.

Trump has vowed that any deal will result in large Chinese purchases of American goods, including soybeans and energy like oil and gas. Washington has threatened to lift tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on $US200 billion of Chinese imports if they can not resolve thier differences.

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