WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday negotiators for the U.S. and China have reached an agreement on currency manipulation as the two sides work to hammer out a new trade deal before a March 1 deadline.
Speaking to reporters at an Oval Office meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump said a “final agreement” had been worked out between the two countries on currency manipulation, but he offered no details.
Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who also was at the meeting, said trade negotiations that have been under way in Washington this week have gone so well that the Chinese delegation has extended its stay so the talks can continue through the weekend.
“I would say it’s more likely that a deal will happen,” he said.
Trump said he was open to extending the March 1 deadline for reaching a new trade deal and that he expects to meet soon with Chinese President Xi Jingping to work out “the final points” of an agreement. The meeting will probably take place in late March at Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, he said.
"Ultimately, I think the biggest decisions and some even smaller decisions will be made by President Xi and myself,” he said. “I think President Xi and I will work out the final points. Perhaps and perhaps not."
Currency manipulation is one of a number of issues that have been on the table as part of the ongoing trade negotiations between the two countries.
A high-level delegation of Chinese trade officials, headed by Liu, arrived in Washington this week for the latest round of talks.
The U.S. and China hit each other with tariffs last year, spawning fears of a trade war that could damage the global economy.
Trump and his advisers have accused the Chinese of unfair trade practices, from government subsidies to intellectual property theft, claims the Chinese have consistently denied – all issues that are the subject of ongoing negotiations.
Late in the year, Trump and Xi agreed to stop further tariffs and hold negotiations for a new overall trade agreement.
They set a deadline of March 1, after which new tariffs would go into effect if no agreement is reached.