00:35 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Yuan banknotes and US dollars are seen on a table in Yichang, central China's Hubei province on August 14, 2015

    Trump Expects US and China to Sign First Phase of Trade Deal Ahead of Schedule

    © AFP 2019 / STR
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    The US president’s optimistic statement comes just a few days after reports suggesting that the two countries were moving towards concluding certain parts of a trade agreement.

    "We are looking probably to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal, we'll call it Phase One but it's a very big portion", Donald Trump told reporters ahead of his visit to Chicago.

    According to reports, China is ready to address intellectual property concerns raised by the US, and will also buy $40 to $50 billion in US agricultural products.

    Chinese staffers adjust a U.S. flag before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019
    © AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein
    Chinese staffers adjust a U.S. flag before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019

    Washington and Beijing have been engaged in a tariff war since last year. The US accused China of creating a trade imbalance and slapped additional tariffs on a vast list of Chinese products, while Beijing retaliated with its own tariffs on US goods. The escalating tensions gravely affected international trade, slowing down the global growth for up to 0.6%.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, the tariffs imposed during the conflict are expected to slow down global growth in 2019 to 3.0%, the slowest pace in a decade.

    After several rounds of negotiations, however, the sides came close to concluding a trade deal in May, but failed, leading to another series of trade restrictions.

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    US-China trade war, US-China trade war, trade war, trade deal, China, United States
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