Saturday 15 December 2018

Trump talks up trade progress

US President Donald Trump. Photo: AP
US President Donald Trump. Photo: AP

Jeff Mason and Susan Heavey

US President Donald Trump has said the United States is likely to reach a trade agreement with China and that officials from both sides will sit down for negotiations in a few days.

China has said it would welcome a visit by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is seeking to resolve a tense trade dispute between the world's two largest economies after Mr Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

"China's very serious, and we're very serious," he told reporters, adding that Mnuchin would travel to China as part of a delegation requested by Beijing.

"We've got a very good chance at making a deal."

Speaking at the White House following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, he also said the United States was engaged in serious trade talks with the European Union, adding that US-France trade relations were very good

"I would rather deal just with France," he said.

Mr Trump also said negotiations with Mexico and Canada over the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) were proceeding "very nicely".

"Nafta, as you know, is moving along. They (Mexico) have an election coming up very soon - and it will be interesting to see what happens with that election," Mr Trump said at a cabinet meeting briefly attended by reporters.

"But we're doing very nicely with Nafta. I could make a deal really quickly, but I'm not sure that's in the best interests of the United States.

"But we'll see what happens," he added. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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