China’s Liu He to sign Phase 1 trade deal in US this week, says report

Vice-Premier Liu He is expected in Washington to sign a trade deal with the US. (Reuters pic)

WASHINGTON: Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will visit Washington this week to sign a “Phase 1” trade deal with the United States, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

“Washington has sent an invitation and Beijing has accepted it,” the SCMP quoted a source as saying.

Representatives for the Office of the US Trade Representative and the White House could not be immediately reached for comment on the report, which said the Chinese delegation was likely to stay in the United States until the middle of next week.

Neither side has released many specific details of the agreement, and no text has been released.

Hopes for a US-China trade deal helped keep world stocks positive on Monday.

US President Donald Trump first announced plans for the initial trade pact in October, and US and Chinese negotiators have spent weeks finalising the so-called Phase 1 deal, which comes in lieu of the massive trade agreement that the world’s two largest economies had sought.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said this month that representatives from both countries would sign the pact during the first week of January.

Last week, Trump told reporters at his resort in Florida that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would eventually have a signing ceremony for the agreement.

Trump gave no further details but said the deal was done and being translated.

Days earlier, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the deal was completely finished but was undergoing a technical review.