February 4, 2019 / 1:32 PM / 5 months ago

White House adviser: 'A lot of work to do' in China trade talks: CNBC

FILE PHOTO - White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett addresses reporters during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett on Monday said it remained to be seen how much progress has been made in U.S.-China trade talks but that U.S. President Donald Trump still hoped to make a deal by the March 1 deadline.

“Exactly how much progress we made last week and how much progress we’ll make when Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin and Ambassador (Robert) Lighthizer head off to China is something ... we’re still waiting to see,” Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC in an interview referring to the head of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. trade representative.

Hassett said he has remained hopeful throughout the talks with Beijing and was pleased that negotiations were continuing. But, he added, “there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Last week, another top White House official said there was a “good vibe” following high-level trade talks in Washington between U.S. and Chinese officials.

Trump has said any agreement would not be final until he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coming weeks as he seeks to seal a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing by the early March deadline.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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