Top U.S. and Chinese negotiators ended a first day of trade talks in more than two months on Thursday. Business groups expressed optimism the two sides might be able to ease a 15-month trade war and delay a U.S. tariff hike.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Vice Premier Liu He and other senior Chinese officials for about seven hours.
“We had a very, very good negotiation with China,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters after the talks concluded. He reiterated his plans to meet with Liu at the White House on Friday.
A White House official said talks had gone very well, “probably better than expected.”
Negotiators could agree to low-level “early harvest” agreements on issues such as currencies and copyright protections.
Myron Brilliant, the Chamber’s head of international affairs, told reporters that negotiators were “trying to find a path toward the bigger deal. I believe that there’s even the possibility of a currency agreement this week. I think that could lead to a decision by the U.S. administration to not put forth a tariff rate hike on Oct. 15.”