President Trump says the United States is very close to brokering a trade deal with China, as the possibility of additional U.S. tariffs loom.
President Trump made those remarks via twitter on Thursday saying, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”
Meanwhile, China echoed this assertion Thursday when the commerce ministry announced it remains in close communication with the United States amid bilateral negotiations.
An Chinese commerce ministry official made the announcement earlier Thursday as officials continue trade negotiations to finalize phase one of a potential two-part deal.
The dialogue comes just days before the United States is expected to enact additional tariffs on nearly $160 billion worth of Chinese goods.
It remains unclear if President Trump will proceed with the looming tariffs this weekend, as trade tension appears to thaw.
Trade talks reman ongoing between Washington and Beijing, just weeks after a signing was expected to take place at the APEC summit in Chile before it was canceled over widespread civil unrest across the nation.
Meanwhile, China has warned the U.S. against passing legislation which would mandate a hardline stance on the Chinese crackdown of the country’s Uighur Muslim minority- a point of contention between Washington and Beijing.
A Chinese official issued that warning on last week saying, “We urge the US to immediately correct its mistake, to stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, to stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China’s domestic affairs.”
The House passed the Uighur Act of 2019 in a 407 to 1 vote, although it still would need to pass through the upper chamber before it arrives on the president’s desk for a signature.
If signed into law, the bill would justify sanctions against a Chinese official and condemnation of China’s treatment of more than one million Muslims, which are currently held in “camps” in Xinjiang.
American lawmakers have called these holding centers concentration camps, while China has suggested they “re-education” centers aimed at combatting terrorism.
Tension between Washington and Beijing has also mounted after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law which supports the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
China announced retaliation over the law earlier this month, saying it will no longer allow U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong.
Beijing announced it would also sanction various American-based NGO’s while suggesting the United States has “some [degree of] responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong.”
President Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law last week, mandating a special review annually to evaluate the special trading status Hong Kong currently has under American law.
The law also provides justification for sanctions targeting anyone who seeks to undermine the widespread pro-democracy demonstrations, and also prohibits the United States from exporting tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and other materials to Hong Kong.