| 1:25 AM EST

U.S.-China to Postpone “Phase 1” Treaty Signing?

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping may not sign a partial trade agreement on behalf of the U.S. and China until next month.
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Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping may not sign a partial trade agreement on behalf of the U.S. and China until next month, Bloomberg News says.

A source tells the news service it may take that long to find a venue in which to hold the ceremony.

The parties initially planned to sign the mini-deal on the sidelines of an international summit in Santiago, Chile, this month. But that event has been canceled because of street protests.

White House proposals to stage the signing in Alaska and Iowa also have been ruled out, according to Bloomberg. The news service says negotiators are now looking for venues in Asia or Europe.

The “phase one” treaty tentatively agreed to last month would lower some U.S. tariffs on Chinese products in exchange for as much as $40 billion in Chinese purchases of American farm goods. Trump has described the would-be accord as “by far the greatest and biggest deal ever made” for U.S. farmers.

But the tentative pact does not address the major issues that prompted Trump more than a year ago to launch what has become a trade war covering some $550 billion in Chinese goods. Those demands call for China to strengthen intellectual property protections and scrap policies that force American companies to give up tech secrets for the right to do business in the country.

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