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US President Trump wants agreement on trade with Chinese President Xi Jinping

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Washington ( Bloomberg). President Donald Trump wants to reach an agreement on trade with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 nations summit in Argentina later this month and has asked key US officials to begin drafting potential terms, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The push for a possible deal with China was prompted by the president’s telephone call with Xi on Thursday, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Afterward, Trump described the conversation as “long and very good” and said in a tweet that their discussions on trade were “moving along nicely.”

Trump asked key cabinet secretaries to have their staff draw up a potential deal to signal a ceasefire in an escalating trade conflict, the people said, adding that multiple agencies are involved in the drafting of the plan.

The telephone conversation on Thursday was Trump and Xi’s first publicly disclosed call in six months.

Both sides reported that they had constructive discussions on North Korea and trade, with Chinese state media saying that Trump supported “frequent, direct communication” between the presidents and “joint efforts to prepare for” the planned meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, which is scheduled to take place from from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

“Those discussions are moving along nicely,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday. At a campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night he said, “they want to make a deal.”

On Thursday, the US accused a Chinese state-owned company of conspiring to steal trade secrets of U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. as part of a Justice Department crackdown against China in cases of suspected economic espionage.

Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. and Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. were indicted along with three individuals, the Justice Department said. The US also sued to stop the companies from exporting to America any products that were created using the trade secrets.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at an event in Washington that Trump and Xi might be able to break the logjam on issues during the summit.

But Kudlow cautioned that Trump would “aggressively” pursue his agenda against China, if no deals were reached on intellectual property theft, cybersecurity and tariffs on commodities, among other issues.

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