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President Trump confident on trade talks with China


President Trump said Thursday that a comprehensive trade deal with China has a "very good chance of happening" ahead of a meeting later in the day with a top representative from Beijing.

"I think we’re going to make a deal with China. But it’s going to be a very comprehensive deal. We’re going to cover everything," Trump told reporters during an executive order signing in the Oval Office.

The president is set to meet Thursday afternoon with the with the vice premier of China amid ongoing trade negotiations. Trump said he expects a final deal to include "every aspect of trade," intellectual property theft and the shipment of fentanyl.

"This isn’t going to be a small deal with China," Trump said. "This is either going to be a very big deal or it’s going to be a deal that we’ll just postpone for a little while."

Trump said a final deal would have to be approved by himself and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump has long touted his personal relationship with Xi, though it has been strained in recent months amid the countries' escalating trade dispute.

The Trump administration imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to respond with retaliatory measures on U.S. goods. The two sides have engaged in tit-for-tat actions ever since.

Trump and Xi agreed during the Group of 20 Summit late last year to a truce that would prevent tariffs on Chinese goods from increasing from 10 percent to 25 percent until March 1, giving the two sides room for negotiations.

The president was non-committal on Thursday about whether the two sides can hammer out a final arrangement by the deadline, but said he'd "like to accommodate China."

"I think we can do it by March 1," he said. "Can you get it down on paper by March 1? I don’t know."

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