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WH official: US, China in 'final weeks' of trade talks

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. trade negotiator suggests that the U.S. and China are nearing an agreement that would end their trade conflict, but wouldn’t commit to a specific time frame.

“Our hope is that we are in the final weeks of having an agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer tells the Senate Finance Committee.

But there are still major issues that need to be resolved, he says. “I can’t predict success at this point.”

Lighthizer also says the agreement would have to include an enforcement provision that would enable the U.S. to restore tariffs on Chinese imports if it violated provisions of the pact. That is seen as a major sticking point for Chinese officials.

“We are going to have an enforceable agreement, or the president won’t agree,” Lighthizer says.

Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press