No Trump-Xi summit this month, Steven Mnuchin says

Business | 15 Mar 2019 9:30 am

A summit to seal a trade deal between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not happen at the end of March as previously discussed because more work is needed in U.S.-China negotiations, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday. 

Mnuchin, speaking to reporters following a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, said both sides were "working in good faith" to try to reach a deal "as quickly as possible." 

"There's still a lot of work to do, but we're very comfortable with where we are," Mnuchin said. "I don't think there's anything significantly different on the currency issue from where we were last time." 

Since Trump delayed a threatened March 1 tariff increase on Chinese goods following a late February round of talks, no new face-to-face meetings have been scheduled in the negotiations. 

But Trump and other administration officials have sought to portray the talks as still making progress. 

"We're doing very well with China talks," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday as he sat down to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. "We're getting what we have to get, and I think we're getting it relatively quickly." 

At another White House event later on Thursday, Trump said: "Probably one way or the other we're going to know over the next three or four weeks." He added that China had been "very responsible and very reasonable." 

Trump acknowledged on Wednesday that Xi may be reluctant to come to the U.S. president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida without an agreement in hand after seeing Trump end a separate summit in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without a peace deal. But he said he was in no rush to complete a trade deal with China.-AP

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