Trump Says ‘Big Progress’ on Possible China Trade Deal

December 29, 2018 Updated: December 30, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Dec. 29 that he had a “long and very good call” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and that a possible trade deal between the United States and China was progressing well.

The two nations have been in a trade war for much of 2018, shaking world financial markets as the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two largest economies has been disrupted by tariffs.

Trump and Xi agreed to a ceasefire in the trade war on Dec. 1, deciding to hold off on imposing more tariffs for 90 days while they negotiate a deal to end the dispute following months of escalating tensions.

“Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China,” Trump wrote. “Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!”

Chinese state media also said Xi and Trump spoke on Dec. 29, and quoted Xi as saying that teams from both countries have been working to implement a consensus reached with Trump.

“I hope that the two teams will meet each other half way, work hard, and strive to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial and beneficial to the world as soon as possible,” Xi said, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The two countries are negotiating stronger protections for U.S. intellectual property, an end to forced technology transfers by China-based companies, and greater market access for U.S. companies to China. If an agreement is not reached by March 1, the United States will proceed with its planned tariff increase from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.