China, U.S. Hold Phone Call in Sign of Progress on Phase 1 Deal

(Bloomberg) -- China and the U.S. “reached consensus on properly resolving relevant issues” and agreed to stay in contact on the remaining points for a “phase one” trade deal during a phone call Tuesday morning Beijing time, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed core concerns on the call, according to the statement, without providing further details on the contents of the call. The call follows a previous encounter earlier this month, which the ministry called “constructive.”

The talks on the phase one deal have continued since it was first announced in October, with both sides making concessions recently on issues such as food imports, intellectual property, and tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. Liu, China’s chief negotiator, said last week that he was “cautiously optimistic” about getting a phase one deal, but the lack of a deadline for a deal and comments from President Donald Trump and others have led to speculation that talks could extend into 2020.

(Updates with more details on the talks)

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: James Mayger in Beijing at [email protected];Lin Zhu in Beijing at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at [email protected]

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