Beijing – China and the U.S. have said that they will continue trade consultations in spite of the cancellation of a summit in Chile where the countries’ leaders were supposed to sign an interim trade deal.
U.S. President Donald Trump said this week that he was hoping to sign off with Chinese President Xi Jinping the “phase one” of a deal intended to end the countries’ trade war during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17.
The agreement was supposed to stave off the adoption of new tariffs and set the stage for China to buy more U.S. agricultural products.
But Chile threw a wrench into the plans after it announced it would cancel the summit due to ongoing unrest in the country.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that trade teams in Beijing and Washington had maintained communication and “will continue to promote consultations and other work as originally planned”.
The ministry said that trade delegation leaders including Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would hold a phone call on Friday.
Earlier, the White House confirmed the talks were still on track.
“We look forward to finalizing Phase One of the historic trade deal with China within the same time frame, and when we have an announcement, we’ll let you know,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
Trump said earlier this month that the agreement would address issues such as intellectual property protection and financial services and would require China to buy up to 50 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. agricultural products.