Trump and Xi are close to a new US and China trade deal: report

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US and Chinese officials are nearing completion of a trade deal after Beijing offered to lower tariffs on American farm, auto and chemical products in exchange for Washington considering eliminating sanctions against China, according to a report on Sunday.

The agreement being hashed out in talks in Washington last month is being finalized and could be reached during a meeting between President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort later this month, the Wall Street Journal reported.

But the newspaper cautioned that hurdles remains because of opposition to the deal in Beijing and Washington.

As part of the deal, China would reduce tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current level of 15 percent and increase the purchase of US goods, including an $18 billion buy of natural gas from Cheniere Energy Inc., the report said.

Chinese officials have said in their talks that the US would need to remove tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to bring the deal to a close, Bloomberg reported.

The $200 billion number is the amount the Trump administration imposed on China after Beijing responded to the US’ first round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods.

Other sticking points involve the timeline for removing those penalties and amending Chinese policies that give state-owned business an advantage over US firms.

The negotiators are also trying to create a process that would allow complaints from US companies be addressed, including using officials from both countries to judge disputes.

The two sides are also trying to work out allegations that China is stealing US intellectual property.

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