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US official cites progress in China trade talks

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says “substantial progress” has been made as American and Chinese negotiators wind up two days of trade talks in Washington.

The two sides are trying to make progress toward a deal by a March 1 deadline. That’s when U.S. tariffs against Chinese goods are scheduled to bump up to 25 percent from 10 percent.

President Donald Trump is trying to strike an optimistic tone after earlier in the day casting doubt on the prospects of a deal. He says “we’re going to have a great trade deal.”

Trump is emphasizing that China will be increasing soybean purchases and calls the purchases “music” to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s ears. He says “that’s going to make our farmers very happy.”

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