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Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is "moderately optimistic" about the U.S. reaching a trade deal with China before their mutual tariff cease-fire expires on March 2.
Kudlow told Fox Business "it's very important" that progress is made on Wednesday and Thursday, when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer leads trade discussions at the White House with Chinese representatives.
"I think everybody, including the president, is basically moderately optimistic" about resolving the trade disputes between the world's two largest economies, Kudlow said in the interview.
"The president believes that he and [Chinese] President Xi will probably be the ultimate negotiators. And the work being done tomorrow and Thursday is vitally important to lay out options," Kudlow said.
Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said Trump has been saying in meetings that he wants to be involved in these latest talks.
In an earlier interview with Fox Business, Mnuchin said the U.S. expects to make "significant progress" in this week's China trade war negotiations.
Among the concessions the Trump administration hopes to get are measures to reduce the massive U.S. trade deficit and to address forced technology transfers from U.S. companies operating in China.