China's cabinet adviser Zhu Guangyao told Reuters on the sidelines of a forum in Singapore on China-U.S. relations that he is still optimistic that a deal can be signed in November if both sides maintain close communication via diplomatic channels. This comes after Chile's president cancelled next month's APEC Summit, which was where the leaders sought to sign the agreement. "But it seems more likely that they'll have trade ministers or ambassadors sign the "phase one" deal and save the leaders' meeting for later".
In his UN General Assembly address in September, President Trump justified the $500 billion+ in tariffs on Chinese goods, saying his administration's policy was aimed at "restoring balance" in the trade relationship between the two countries following decades of trade deficits and "unfair trade deals" by his predecessors.
"China and the U.S. are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement", Trump said on Twitter.
"The agriculture chapter is virtually completed", Kudlow said on Friday, adding that "it also will open up and reduce a lot of barriers and onerous regulations".
On Thursday, President Trump optimistically tweeted that China and the USA were "working on selecting a new site" for the signing of a "Phase One Trade Agreement" affecting about 60 percent of the dotal deal following the cancelation of the APEC summit, and promised that a "new location" for the signing would be "announced soon".
They've reached an agreement on some issues, including China's commitment to import more farm products from the US.
"Consultations should happen one step at a time", the official said, requesting anonymity. Several U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have expressed hope to see China make structural changes on issues regarding trade secret theft and forced technology transfer.
But since the US-China détente this month, broader concerns have surfaced over whether a comprehensive trade deal could be reached. But the White House has not announced any plans to defer or cancel the December 15 ones. "He (Trump) needs it and we do too", Jin Canrong, Deputy Dean of the School of International Studies at Beijing's elite Renmin University and a government adviser, told Reuters.
The adviser went on to say the US and China are planning to sign the deal after they locate a venue.
China will consider any offers from the U.S.as long as they do not compromise Beijing's core interests such as national security and territorial integrity, he said.