Trump says US, China 'rounding the turn'

US President Donald Trump watches as China's Vice Premier Liu He speaks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on Feb 22 2019. Trump is likely to meet Liu again during the lates

The potential trade deal with China would mark the closure of a bitter trade war between the two countries that has included retaliatory tariffs and on-and-off again trade negotiations for over a year.

Speaking to reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump said some of the tougher points of a deal had been agreed but there were still differences to be bridged.

"It think it's much better if we all got together and we didn't make these weapons", he said.

"Within the next four weeks, or maybe less, or maybe more, whatever it takes, something very monumental could be announced", he continued. A meeting date between Trump and Xi could be announced as early as Thursday, people familiar with the plans said.

Xi encouraged the two sides to maintain the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and resolve issues of mutual concern so as to conclude negotiations on the agreement as soon as possible.

Trump is meeting Thursday afternoon with China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He. Making structural changes to do so will make the US economy vulnerable, because what Beijing gives, it can take away.

Despite his upbeat assessment, Trump cautioned that "if it's not a great deal, we're not doing it". They said tariffs on imports from China and other countries have squeezed the US real income by $1.4 billion a month and similar effects are falling on countries that retaliated against the United States.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump said the USA had found common ground on some of the toughest points in trade talks, adding a deal could be agreed in the next four weeks.

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He met with US President Donald Trump in the White House's Oval Office on Thursday. Mr Trump has suggested that at least some of the tariffs will stay in place, saying they are necessary "for a substantial period of time" to ensure Beijing keeps up its end of the bargain. Thomas Peter - Pool/Getty Images Trump said he made the remark to Xi when he went to Beijing in November 2017, although the "president-for-life" reference did not coincide with the abolition of the term limit of the Chinese head of state, which had been 10 years. However an U.S. official said that they will consider this but it was not possible to remove all the tariffs. "But there's a very good chance that we'll have the summit", Trump said.

Unprecedented proposals have been made by China on a wide range of issues with the USA in their trade talks. "We've discussed it at length", he said.

Trump, as he often does, talked about the Chinese as fierce competitors who took advantage of the gullible American political class to arrange lopsided trade deals.

The talks are due to continue for a third day on Friday.

Hopes that the talks were moving in a positive direction have cheered financial markets in recent weeks.

The US accuses China of stealing intellectual property from American firms, forcing them to transfer technology to China.

Investor sentiment seems bolstered by Trump's statement Thursday that the USA and China were "rounding the turn" in the talks, which resumed Wednesday in Washington.

Kudlow said Liu and his team would remain in Washington for three days and possibly longer.

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