President Donald Trump, preparing to meet a Chinese trade delegation Thursday, said the United States won't reach any final trade agreement with China until he sits down again with President Xi Jinping.
"That doesn't mean you're going to have a deal but there's a tremendous relationship and a warm feeling". It's a lot of work because this is a very comprehensive deal.
But that was the only scant detail either side was willing to divulge about the high-stakes talks ahead of a March 1 deadline for a deal.
"I'd like to accommodate China if we can get the deal done", Trump said.
US President Donald Trump touted the promise, made at the end of two days of talks in Washington, as evidence that the two sides were making progress.
Trump, meanwhile, has seen his public approval ratings battered by the partial government shutdown and is said to worry about the tariff war's impact upon USA financial markets. Trump then brought to attention that "Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"
With White House advisors reportedly divided, the focus is on Mr Trump, who is scheduled to meet with Mr Liu in Washington this week as part of the talks.
He said that all of the many problems were being discussed and will be hopefully resolved.
Unless a deal is reached by March 1, the U.S. has threatened to raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.
Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser in President George W. Bush's White House, said the idea of a climactic one-on-one meeting with Xi "plays very much to President Trump's vision of himself as a master negotiator".
The Trump administration has imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to compel Beijing to change its trading practices, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own tariff increases on $110 billion of USA exports.
China is fighting a major trade dispute at the WTO against US and European Union claims that China is not a "market economy" and therefore that its export prices should not be taken at face value when evaluating whether it is trading fairly.
Trump said in one of his morning tweets: "Tariffs on the 'dumping" of Steel in the United States have totally revived our Steel Industry.
U.S. soybean sales to China, which totalled 31.7m tonnes in 2017, were largely cut off in the second half of past year by China's retaliatory tariffs and the announcement drew a positive reaction from Trump, who said it would "make our farmers very happy". Beijing retaliated with levies on $110 billion in USA goods.
The next round of US-China trade talks will resume Wednesday and Thursday in Washington to try to find a way out of the tariff battle between the two powers. "Any deal that does not include China opening its markets for manufacturing and agricultural products to USA producers will be" unacceptable", the president wrote.
Mr Trump has also threatened tariffs on an additional $267bn worth of products.
Chinese officials have said their policies do not coerce technology transfers.