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Trump says trade deal with China likely

In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. AP FILE

WASHINGTON, United States – President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to be able to reach a trade deal with China, which is feeling the impact of US tariffs.

“We are doing very well with China. They’re having a hard time with their economy because of the tariffs,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

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“I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China.”

US officials were in Beijing last week for talks aimed at ending the bruising trade confrontation that has subjected more than $350 billion in two-way trade to steep tariffs.

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Chinese officials said the next round of negotiations would be held in Washington between January 30 and 31.

Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.

“I can tell you we are getting things that before I became president you would have had no chance at getting,” Trump said. “They would have laughed in your president’s face.”

As Trump has pressed Beijing to increase imports of US goods, China’s trade surplus with the United States hit a record last year of $323.3 billion, an 11 percent increase over 2017, according to Chinese customs data released Monday.

However, in a sign that the White House’s punitive measures are having an impact, China’s exports to the US sank last month.

And China’s total exports fell 4.4 percent in December from a year earlier, while imports dropped 7.6 percent, reflecting sluggish demand at home and abroad. /cbb

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