09:51 GMT25 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Phase one of the US-China trade deal is being prepared but there is no timeline of when it will be finalized, White House Aide Kellyanne Conway told reporters on Monday.

    "It is being papered", Conway said when asked if a deal were still possible this year to address some trade disputes between the world's two largest economies.

    Conway added that the phase one trade deal could be completed before the end of the year but it would be up to China. She added that US President Donald Trump will not place artificial timelines on reaching a trade deal with China.

    Technology transfers and intellectual property theft are some of the key issues being negotiated in the first phase of the agreement.

    In October, Trump announced that both sides had reached a "substantial phase one deal", which was expected to be finalized in the near future. However, after the APEC Summit in mid-November was cancelled in Chile, where Trump was supposed to be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign the trade deal, both sides appeared to be struggling to finalize the new "phase one" trade deal.

    The world’s two leading economies have been engaged in a trade war for over a year over what Trump deemed unfair economic conditions and non-competitive behaviour from China. China has denied such claims, saying that the trade row is not beneficial to either side and the world economy. The standoff translated into tit-for-tat hiking of tariffs in imported goods between the countries.

    Tags:
    trade deal, China, White House, United States
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