Trump on future China trade deal: 'I have not decided yet'

'I'm having a very hard time with China,' Trump said

President Trump said Friday he's having a difficult time with China, particularly on the issue of trade, following a phone call the previous night between U.S. and Chinese trade officials.

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China's Vice Premier Liu He, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer discussed economic and trade issues Thursday, but Trump told "Fox & Friends" on Friday morning that he hasn't made any progress on a trade deal after officials agreed to implement Phase One in January.

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"I'm having a very hard time with China," Trump said.

The president said he has yet to make a decision on the future of a trade deal between the two nations, which have gone head-to-head over China's initial response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

In this Tuesday, March 10, 2020, photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping talks by video with patients and medical workers at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua v

Trump said that even though he was "very tough with China," and the country "had to buy $250 billion worth of products" from the U.S., including "$40-50 billion" from U.S. farmers, he feels "very torn" as to how the country will approach future trade agreements.

"I have not decided yet," he said.

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During Thursday's call, U.S. and Chinese representatives said both countries should strengthen macroeconomic and public health cooperation to make progress in terms of moving forward with a trade deal, and both countries agreed to maintain communication and cooperation on a regular basis.

In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The parties also agreed that positive progress is being made on the Phase One agreement and creating the governmental infrastructures necessary to make it a success. They also agreed that in spite of the pandemic, both countries fully expect to meet their Phase One obligations on time.

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Phase One represents the first step toward what is expected to be a more comprehensive trade agreement between the world's two largest economies and has been in the works since October, after nearly two years of a trade war.

It also includes a potential $200 billion purchase of U.S. goods from China, reduced U.S. tariffs on China, progress on additional phases of a trade deal and regular meetings between the two countries' trade representatives.

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