Trade

US-China trade talks to go on despite uncertainty on where Trump and Xi can meet

Key Points
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month, to discuss a potential "phase one" trade agreement between the world's two largest economies.
  • But that meeting was suddenly canceled due to domestic unrest.
  • "The Chinese and U.S. trade delegations remain in close communication, (and) at this time there is smooth progress on negotiations," the commerce ministry said in an online post, according to CNBC's translation of the Chinese text.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump at the G-20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.
Brendan Smialowsi | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — Lead negotiators from the U.S. and China will hold trade talks on the phone on Friday, China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The announcement comes after news that Chile was canceling the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit due to domestic unrest. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to meet in mid-November at the summit in Santiago, to discuss a potential "phase one" trade agreement between the world's two largest economies.

"The Chinese and U.S. trade delegations remain in close communication, (and) at this time there is smooth progress on negotiations," the commerce ministry said in an online post, according to CNBC's translation of the Chinese text.

"Both sides will continue to push ahead with the negotiations and other work as originally planned," the statement said, adding the leaders of the discussions are set to hold a phone call on Friday.

Last Friday, China's top trade negotiator Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a phone call in which they confirmed portions of the technical aspects of the trade agreement text, according to a separate statement from the Commerce Ministry.

The two sides reached a consensus on issues such as China removing a ban on imports of U.S. poultry, and applying a health information system for meat products, the ministry said.

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