January 24, 2019 / 1:54 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. Commerce chief: 'miles and miles' to go on China trade

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross gestures during an interview with Reuters in his office at the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington, Oct. 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China are a long way from resolving trade issues with China but there is a fair chance the two countries will get to a trade deal, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

A large Chinese delegation of about 30 people plans to come to Washington next week for a round of trade talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, he said, as the world’s two largest economies try to meet a March 1 deadline to resolve their trade disputes.

“There is a very large group coming. There’s been a lot of anticipatory work done but we’re miles and miles from getting a resolution and frankly that shouldn’t be too surprising,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC.

“Trade is very complicated, there’s lots and lots of issues - not just how many soybeans and how much LNG.”

He said that more important were the structural reforms that Washington believes are needed in the Chinese economy, as well as enforcement mechanisms for failure to adhere to whatever is agreed to.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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