US-China trade talks to resume after pause, US official says

Mnuchin, Lighthizer to travel to Beijing

Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing, China.

Trade talks between US and Chinese teams will resume next week after a pause in negotiations, according to an administration official.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to Beijing for discussions meant to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

It's expected a Chinese delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu He, would then come to Washington for further talks.

Negotiations had been on hold as the two sides broached disagreements over enforcement mechanisms in a final deal, as well as intellectual property and technology disputes.

Now, according to the official, the two sides hope to reach an agreement to be signed at a late-April summit at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where Trump previously hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2017.

Trump voiced optimism at the China trade progress as he concluded a joint news conference in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.

"China's going very well. China talks going very well," he said, declining to expand further.

The US and China have been engaged in intensive negotiations as the two sides try to strike an agreement that would lift punishing tariffs in exchange for some changes to China's trade practices and agreements to purchase US goods.

The talks had originally carried a March 1 deadline, but Trump announced he would extend the window because talks were proceeding well.

Since the start of the month, the discussions have proceeded at lower levels as the two sides firm up their final negotiating positions.

Trump is eager for a deal that could boost the stock market and improve his re-election chances. He's delayed applying new tariffs on China as the talks advance, but has insisted he has no problem using them to advance his trade agenda.

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