WASHINGTON, Oct 21 - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said efforts to end a U.S. trade war with China were going well as the world's two largest economies continued to battle over trade and politics across the world despite heralding a long-awaited truce this month.
Trump last week said he hopes that the first phase of a trade deal announced earlier in October will be signed by the middle of next month.
"The deal with China's coming along very well. They want to make a deal," Trump told reporters before a Cabinet meeting, stressing the toll that U.S. tariffs have taken on the Chinese economy. "They sort of have to make a deal ... because their supply chain is going down the tubes."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters the administration still aimed to finalize a deal on the first phase of the deal in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Chile on Nov. 16 and 17, but said there were still outstanding issues to resolve.
He said deputy-level meetings took place on Monday, and he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would speak with their counterparts on Friday.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also sought to temper expectations that a deal would be completed next month, telling Fox Business Network that timing was less important than making "the right deal."
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the network that 15% U.S. tariffs on many consumer goods imported from China, including cellphones, laptop and tablet computers, could be withdrawn if negotiations continue to go well.
Earlier this month, the administration held off on raising tariffs on another $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25%.