Top U.S., Chinese official optimistic on Phase 1 trade deal after phone call -USTR


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WASHINGTON, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Top U.S. and Chinese officials, who spoke by phone on Monday, see progress on resolving issues over the Phase 1 trade deal reached in January and both sides are committed to the success of the agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in a "regularly scheduled call," USTR said in a statement.

"The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer," the statement said.

"The parties also discussed the significant increases in purchases of U.S. products by China as well as future actions needed to implement the agreement," it said.

"Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement," USTR said.

The phone call was originally envisioned for Aug. 15, the six-month anniversary of the trade deal's launch. Trump, who has frequently expressed anger at China over the coronavirus pandemic, said last week he had postponed talks with China because "I don't want to deal with them now."

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham & Shri Navaratnam)

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