FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross attends the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, at a hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Kham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-China trade talks are set to continue with a telephone call on Friday as both sides seek to hammer out a phase one trade pact, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, adding that progress was being made on the agreement’s details.
Ross, in an interview on Fox Business Network, also said there was a very high probability that the United States would reach a final agreement on a phase one trade deal with China.
But, he added that it was unclear when the initial agreement would be finalized after a potential deadline this month evaporated with the cancellation of an international summit in Chile and with upcoming U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports looming next month.
“We’re down to the last details now,” Ross said.
More U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese goods are set to go into effect Dec. 15. Asked if the goal was to get a deal before then, Ross did not say.
“Maybe we get disappointed again now and, if we do, the president has made quite clear he’s happy to live with the situation where we impose tariffs,” he said, adding that President Donald Trump has not yet indicated any change to the upcoming tariff increase.
“There’s plenty of time between now and the 15th,” Ross said.
Reporting by Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Steve Orlofsky