US tones down China's optimism about progress in trade talks

While China says it has reached a "consensus on principles" for the first phase of a trade deal with the U.S., the Trump administration gave a more cautious assessment of talks on Friday.

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American negotiators are still working on some outstanding issues after a "constructive" call with Vice Premier Liu He, though U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said it yielded "progress in a variety of areas."

Full details of the tentative deal haven't been disclosed yet, but Beijing is said to be making concessions on financial services and agriculture as part of the pact. The U.S. has agreed not to raise existing duties on $250 billion of Chinese goods from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 15. A decision has not yet been made on tariffs on $160 billion scheduled for Dec. 15.

"The two sides conducted serious and constructive discussions on properly addressing their core concerns and reached consensus on principles," the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement after the call.

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President Trump has suggested a comprehensive trade deal will have two or three phases. While phase one is not yet done, the two sides are close to having something on paper.

Earlier on Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the deal was progressing nicely.

"The agriculture chapter is virtually completed,” he told FOX Business' Stuart Varney, adding that the financial services and currency stability parts were "virtually wrapped up."

Talks involving forced transfer of technology have seen "some progress," but that will likely be part of phase two, Kudlow said.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were hoping to sign the phase one deal next month at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, but the event was canceled due to unrest in Chile.

ROSS ON CHINA DEAL: NO DEAL ON ANYTHING UNTIL THERE'S A DEAL ON EVERYTHING

"It was nice having the natural deadline of the Chilean conference, because that made everybody focus on a finite date,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business' Neil Cavuto on "Mornings with Maria" on Friday morning.

“Hopefully we can resurrect a date right in that range 'cause we know there's a gap in President Trump's calendar. We know there's a gap in President Xi's. So the question ought to be where, not when.”

He added: "You don’t have a deal on anything until you have a deal on everything."

FOX Business' Edward Lawrence and Julia Limitone contributed to this report.