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U.S., Chinese Officials to Hold Trade Talks to Finalize Phase One

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday U.S. and Chinese officials will hold trade talks over the phone to reach an agreement on the first phase.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross touts recent progress on U.S. China trade talks, saying officials from both sides will communicate via phone.

Ross made those remarks during an interview on Friday saying both American and Chinese officials will continue to work toward finalizing Phase One of the potential trade deal, with only a few details left to hammer out.

Although Ross expressed his optimism in securing the trade agreement, he reminded those watching President Trump will be satisfied imposing tariffs if it cannot be done.

Ross said, “Maybe we get disappointed again now and, if we do, the president has made quite clear he’s happy to live with the situation where we impose tariffs.”

Tariffs are set to be imposed on December 15, but it remains unclear if those will be enacted.

The commerce secretary’s remarks come just a couple of weeks after President Trump announced officials are deciding on a new location to sign the first part of the agreement.

President Trump made the announcement via twitter saying, “China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances.”

The president continued by saying the new location of the upcoming signing will be announced shortly, but did not specify when.

The signing of Phase One will take place between both President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and was previously scheduled to take place at the economic summit in Chile during the two-day event in November.

Just one day before President Trump made this announcement, the president of Chile announced the cancellation of the summit in the nation, citing unrest and massive protests across the country.

Since the announcement, the White House has made it clear it still seeks to sign the trade deal in the same timeframe.

It remains unclear if APEC will still commence, yet be hosted elsewhere.

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