"We are encouraged at this point that they're getting closer to getting an agreement", said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of worldwide affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who said he has spoken this week with officials from both governments.
USA and Chinese negotiators met for over seven hours on Saturday to resolve their trade dispute and avoid an escalation of the tit-for-tat tariffs that have already disrupted global commerce, slowed the world economy and roiled financial markets.
"The big surprise would be a complete removal of tariffs by Trump but I'm expecting an asymmetrical removal of tariffs by China in order to get to some of these numbers", said Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
He added that his meeting with Mr Xi would probably take place at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where both presidents previously met in April 2017. Representatives for the White House could not be immediately reached for comment.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.
The Chinese president expressed hope that the talks maintain "a mutually respectful, cooperative and win-win attitude" and lead to a "mutually beneficial" agreement. But in the meantime, there's an important deadline looming a week from today.
"I think we're making a lot of progress", Trump said at the meeting, part of which was open to the media.
The fourth round of talks have been underway all week, with senior officials meeting Thursday and Friday as Trump's threat to more than double tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods on March 1 looms over the discussions. It has given some real urgency to these talks. "A Memorandum of Understanding is a binding agreement between two people", Lighthizer said. The Chinese delegation will need to make sure it maintains Chinese economic growth while both satisfying the USA that it has done what is needed to prevent further tariffs and ensuring it can continue with its long term growth of the Chinese technology sector.
Chinese officials have reportedly offered to buy an additional $30 billion worth of USA agricultural exports each year, more than doubling the current $24 billion figure, and to buy more American semiconductors.
An industry source briefed on the talks said both sides have narrowed differences on intellectual property rights, market access and narrowing a almost $400 billion U.S. trade deficit with China. So if things are going well, that might be extended a bit. "We want to see it just stop". It has also fanned uncertainty among businesses that must decide where to invest and whether Trump's tariffs - which raise the cost of imports on the target list - will last long enough to justify replacing Chinese suppliers with those from countries not subject to the tariffs. What kind of impact is that having? "And the Chinese side is ready to make our utmost effort".
It has already disrupted commerce in goods and slowed down global economic growth. Of course, that would go up if they were to jump to 25 percent.
China has also committed to buy an additional 10 million metric tons of US soybeans.