The United States and China are getting close to a trade deal, said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. He added that the two parties were having very constructive talks to put an end to the 16-month trade war.
Trade negotiators of both China and the US were having talks over the phone, according to Kudlow, but gave no further details about the content of the calls. He did not mention when a possible deal would actually be finalized.
“We’re getting close,” he said in an event held at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “The mood music is pretty good, and that has not always been so in these things.”
The two largest economies have been going back and forth negotiations about the ongoing trade war. Meanwhile, tariffs imposed have made financial markets roiling, ultimately threatening of a global economic recession as growth dropped its lowest since the 2008 financial crisis.
Markets anxiously wait for a trade agreement that would put an end to the financial uncertainty. Discussions of an agreement was brought forth in May, however China backed out in the drafting of the agreement, so the prospects were dashed.
Kudlow’s statements could pacify the market as concerns surfaced again due to reports that the trade talks had yet again reached a dead end. Concerns remain to be about how and when the tariffs would be lifted, as well as the products that can be purchased from China. An additional market concern was Trump’s statement on Tuesday that he could impose new tariffs on China if no deal is reached.
Kudlow said that in a meeting with the top trade officials, things were looking more optimistic.
“It’s not done yet, but there has been very good progress and the talks have been very constructive,” he said.
Kudlow mentioned the possibility that Trump and Xi would not need to meet personally to finalize the deal.
Trump had hoped to sign the deal’s phase one during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile. However, Chile had backed out from hosting the event and no deal was signed.