October 29, 2019 / 4:17 PM / a month ago

Exclusive: U.S.-China trade deal may not be ready for signing in Chile - U.S. official

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China are continuing to work on an interim trade agreement, but it may not be completed in time for the U.S. and Chinese leaders to sign it in Chile next month, a U.S. administration official said on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to sign “phase one” of the trade agreement at next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, but the date is still fluid, a White House official said earlier on Tuesday.

“If it’s not signed in Chile, that doesn’t mean that it falls apart. It just means that it’s not ready,” the administration official said. “Our goal is to sign it in Chile. But sometimes texts aren’t ready. But good progress is being made and we expect to sign the agreement in Chile.”

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Heather Timmons and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alistair Bell

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