United States and China are reportedly drawing closer to a final trade agreement

US-China trade talks to resume, a perceived critical week

Washington and Beijing have stated they are trying to reach a tentative trade deal agreement by the end of Mr. Liu's visit, with a signing ceremony between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China later this month.

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.

"We're getting to the point where it's clear that both governments want a deal. We'll tariff their cars", he said.

Trump's remarks prolong the uncertainty over whether the world's two-biggest economies can end their nine-month trade war, which has disrupted supply chains, whipsawed markets, and weighed on the world economy. "But right now it's going to be a long time before they catch us", he said. China wants the tariffs lifted, while USA officials are wary of giving up that leverage, at least for now.

The merchandise-trade deficit with China hit a record US$419.2 billion in 2018.

The Chinese are widely expected to agree to buy substantially more American products - likely including soybeans and natural gas - to help narrow the United States' trade deficit in goods and services with China, which hit a record $379 billion past year.

On China's behalf, Liu cited "great progress" in the talks because of Trump's direct involvement and expressed hope that the talks would lead to "a good result".

Mr. Trump's meeting with Liu comes hours after he threatened to impose tariffs on cars coming into the US from Mexico.

But the Trump administration and American companies want structural intellectual property and market economy issues addressed, with a way to ensure that China follows through on its promises, Brilliant said.

Asked about the remaining sticking points, Trump mentioned tariffs and intellectual property theft. Trump is scheduled to meet Liu at 4:30 p.m.in the Oval Office.

"Some of the toughest things have been agreed to", Trump said.

How the trade deal would be implemented and enforced have apparently been the stumbling blocks in US-China trade talks. "We have to make sure there's enforcement".

We're not there yet and we hope this week we get closer. "I say it, we should have been doing that to them", he said.

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce declined to answer questions on the target date at a press conference in Beijing Thursday or provide an update on the talks.

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. -China trade negotiations starting on Wednesday. At the heart of the dispute are the Trump administration's allegations that China steals technology and coerces USA companies to hand over trade secrets all part of Beijing's zeal to overtake US technological dominance. "We're getting into the end-game stage", Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president for worldwide affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday, according to the FT. He added that it was unlikely that China would agree to an enforcement mechanism that included re-imposition of unilateral US tariffs without the current tariffs being removed.

"China has been very clear, publicly and privately, that they would like to see all the tariffs removed", US Chamber of Commerce worldwide affairs chief Myron Brilliant told reporters on Tuesday.

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