USA sets 2025 target for China to fulfil trade pledges

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A date for a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be announced as early as Thursday, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified sources, which would signal that a deal could be close. Such a move could pave the way for increased American exports to China, reducing the USA trade deficit.

Drafts of an agreement to end a almost year-long trade war would give Beijing until 2025 to meet commitments on commodity purchases and allow American companies to wholly own enterprises in the Asian nation, according to three people familiar with the talks.

Mr Trump wants China to buy more American exports and has already won Beijing's assurances it will do so.

Trump is scheduled to meet in the Oval Office at 4:30 pm with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who leads Beijing's negotiating team.

Chinese commitments to increase purchases of American agricultural, energy and manufactured products are expected to be part of a final deal, and a person familiar with the talks said China would get about six years to meet those commitments, or until 2025.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States and China were getting very close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, but he issued a warning to Beijing that, absent a pact, it would be hard to allow trade to continue. The US is believed to be demanding to keep current punitive tariffs until China implements what are agreed.

"We're getting to the point where it's clear that both governments want a deal", Myron Brilliant, the Chamber's head of worldwide affairs, told reporters.

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The White House is particularly focused on Chinese purchases of American goods through the second quarter of 2020, in an effort to narrow the trade balance ahead of Trump's re-election bid. He said he would give Mexico a year to prevent immigrants from entering the US before following through on the auto taxes. To pressure China, the United States has imposed tariffs on USD250 billion in Chinese goods.

The two sides are still haggling over how to enforce the deal, which Lighthizer has said is the fundamental issue in the talks.

"He said, "But I am not king, I am president.' I said 'No, you're president for life, and therefore you're king", Trump told his audience, prompting laughter.

The demands include changes to China's policies on intellectual property (IP) theft, technology transfers, industrial subsidies, and other trade barriers. There's no timetable for further negotiations after that, the official said.

Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce head of International Affairs, also said on Tuesday that chances are increasing that the United States and China will secure a deal to end a costly trade war, though discussions this week will be critical to resolving stubborn differences about how the deal will be enforced and whether and when the United States will lift hefty tariffs on Chinese goods.

-With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs, Saleha Mohsin, Jeffrey Black and Yinan Zhao.

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