US official denies report of possible China trade deal

A senior Trump administration official on Friday dismissed as untrue a media report that U.S. President Donald Trump was readying a possible trade deal with China, a CNBC reporter said in a post on Twitter.

„There is a long way to go,” on negotiations, the unnamed official told CNBC’s Eamon Javers, according to his tweet.

Earlier on Friday, Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Trump wanted to reach an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping and had asked key U.S. officials to begin drafting potential terms for a deal.

Reuters could not immediately confirm either report, and White House officials did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the Bloomberg report.

Still, world share markets soared on Friday amid growing hopes that the world’s two largest economies are starting to repair their badly damaged trade relations following a conversation held by Trump and Xi on Thursday.

The two spoke by telephone in what both sides described as an positive call, their first known direct discussion in several months. Trump, in a tweet after their talk, said he planned for the two leaders to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month.

Neither leader gave any details about possible progress.

The Bloomberg News report said it was unclear if Trump was easing up on demands that China has resisted, and it cited one person as saying intellectual property theft was a sticking point on a possible deal.

Hours after the call, the U.S. Justice Department accused another Chinese company of unfair practices, part of an across-the-board pressure campaign by the Trump administration targeting China.

Trump administration officials have said U.S.-China trade talks cannot resume until Beijing outlines specific actions it would take to meet U.S. demands for sweeping changes to policies on technology transfers, industrial subsidies and market access.

The two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods and Trump has threatened to extend the tariffs to the remainder of China’s $500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the disputes cannot be resolved.

Source:Reuters Agency

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