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MNI POLICY: Pence 'Hopeful' For Phase One US Deal With China

By Evan Ryser
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech Thursday
that the Trump administration is optimistic a Phase One trade deal with China
will be signed next month in Chile at APEC.
     "We are hopeful that a Phase One with its additional purchases of American
agriculture can be confirmed in Chile," Pence said at the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars in Washington. 
     "President Trump believes that China wants to make a deal. He remains
optimistic that not only we can complete Phase One but that we can move on to
the structural issues," Pence said. 
     Pence softened what in the past has often been a hawkish tone on China,
saying the "United States does not seek confrontation with China. We seek a
level playing field, open markets, fair trade, and a respect for our values." 
     "We truly believe that if we can get this economic relationship right that
it may well lay a foundation," Pence said. "It is where a new relationship can
begin, not end,.. and move forward." 
     The vice president pushed back on accusations that the administration seeks
to cut economic ties with China - so-called decoupling. "The answer is a
resounding 'no.'"
     He said "America is reaching our hand out to China and we hope Beijing will
reach back with deeds and not just words." 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email:
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