"Further to that point, although the in-principle agreement may have been agreed, the legally binding text has yet to be drawn up", he said.
President Donald Trump has signed off on an initial trade agreement with China that would avoid imminent U.S. tariffs and reduce the rates of existing duties in exchange for a Chinese promise to purchase American farm goods.
"We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China", Trump said on Twitter.
The deal presented to Trump by trade advisers on Thursday included a promise by the Chinese to buy more U.S. agricultural goods, the people said. We won't have to wait too long though, as an official statement or an absence of one before December 15 would confirm the status of the deal.
Calling the phase one pact "an incredible deal for all", Trump said phase two negotiations will begin "immediately" rather than wait until after the 2020 election.
The paper cited Michael Pillsbury, a China expert at the Washington-based Hudson Institute it said had been briefed by Trump, and an unnamed senior administration official.
Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times, wrote on Twitter: "Chinese authorities and official media so far haven't given any information on China and the United States are close to a deal".
The USTR added that the deal requires structural reforms to China's economic and trade regime and covers contentious areas including intellectual property and Beijing's practice of forcing US firms to transfer technological know-how to Chinese partners.
At the same time, Trump said the 25 percent U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will stay in place, while an additional 7.5 percent in planned tariffs won't go ahead as planned.
In October, Trump said China would buy up to $50 billion in U.S.ag products over two years as part of the Phase One pact.
The Wall Street Journal said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai are expected to sign "at least the outlines of a deal on Friday", quoting a person familiar with the matter. "Thanks to the President's leadership, this landmark agreement marks critical progress toward a more balanced trade relationship and a more level playing field for American workers and companies", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. During the protracted trade battle with Washington, Chinese officials say, he has consistently directed his lieutenants to strike back at tariff increases imposed by the Trump administration.
The upcoming round of USA tariffs on Chinese goods starting December 15 would have been damaging to both the countries.
US President Donald Trump, pictured with China's President Xi Jinping at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, is keen to seize back the political initiative and show voters his punishing trade war with China has brought results. "That shows the deal is beneficial to the interests of china and the U.S. and their people, and it is what the worldwide community wants", she said.
By the time USA and Chinese negotiators renewed discussions in October with the near-term goal of reaching a limited deal centered around agricultural trade, officials say, Mr. Xi was eager to strike a deal to help alleviate pressure on the Chinese economy, which faces a variety of challenges.
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