Trump: ‘We’re thinking about Iowa’ for signing of China trade deal

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President Trump said Friday that he is considering meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Iowa to sign phase one of the trade agreement between the two countries.

“I want to get the deal done first, but we’re thinking about Iowa,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “You know why? It would be the largest order in history for farmers. So to me, Iowa makes sense. I love Iowa. It’s a possibility.”

{mosads}Trump said his administration is discussing locations and that Xi would be willing to meet in the United Stated.

“We’re discussing location,” Trump said “I like to get deals done first.”

Trump announced that both sides had agreed in principle on a partial trade deal in mid-October.

Trump had initially planned to meet with Xi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this month in Chile to sign phase one of the deal.

But those plans appeared to go off the rails when Chile announced earlier this week that it would no longer host the APEC summit amid widespread unrest in the country. The summit was set to take place on Nov. 16 and 17.

Trump on Friday expressed confidence in trade negotiations with Beijing but indicated he didn’t want to get ahead of a final deal.

“We’re moving along with the deal with China,” Trump told reporters. “China wants to make the deal very much, we have a good relationship and we’ll see what happens. I don’t like to talk about deals until they happen but we’re making a lot of progress.”

The White House has downplayed any effect the sudden change of plans with respect to the summit would have on the signing of the trade deal. It is unclear whether a new venue will be selected for APEC or if it will be cancelled altogether.

The current U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Brandstad, previously served as the governor of Iowa.

Tags China Donald Trump Iowa Trump tariffs Trump trade war

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