China says hopes to reach phased trade pact with U.S. as early as possible

China says hopes to reach phased trade pact with U.S. as early as possible

FILE PHOTO: China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng attends a news conference in Beijing, China April 6, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday that China hoped to reach a phased agreement with the United States over trade as early as possible, and make progress on cancelling tariffs on each others’ goods.

A phased agreement would help restore market confidence and reduce uncertainty, Gao Feng, spokesman at the ministry, told reporters, adding that both sides were maintaining close communication.

On Oct. 11, U.S. President Donald Trump outlined the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike, but officials on both sides said much more work needed to be done before an accord could be agreed.

U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Alex Richardson

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