Excerpts: Remarks by President Trump and Vice Premier Liu He Before Bilateral Meeting

Oval Office

4:31 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to be with the Vice Premier of China, a highly respected man all over the world.  We’ve had tremendous discussions.  We’re getting very close to making a deal.  That doesn’t mean a deal is made, because it’s not, but we’re certainly getting a lot closer.  And I would think with — oh, within the next four weeks or maybe less, maybe more — whatever it takes — something very monumental could be announced.
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We very much appreciate the letter from President Xi, who — recently, just now, I was handed a beautiful letter.  I appreciate that.  And I also, maybe in particular — I’m very happy to read these headlines that just came out: “China Bans All Types of Fentanyl, Cutting Supply of Deadly Drug to the United States and Fulfilling a Pledge to President Trump.”  “China Announces New Crackdown on Fentanyl.”  A terrific thing for the United States.
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And a letter from our great Ambassador, Terry Branstad, saying exactly this: that China is reclassifying fentanyl and there will criminal penalties if you sell fentanyl.  And, as you know, there weren’t any in the past.  So this is a very big, big step, and we really appreciate it, from President Xi and from the Vice Premier.
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We are rounding the turn.  We’ll see what happens.  We have a ways to go, but not very far.  We’ve made a lot of progress.  And I just want to welcome the Vice Premier.  We’ve become friends.  We know each other.  Many of you got to meet the Vice Premier a couple of months ago, in the same office — the great Oval Office.
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We’ve had tremendous discussions.  We’re getting very close to making a deal.  That doesn’t mean a deal is made, because it’s not, but we’re certainly getting a lot closer.  And I would think with — oh, within the next four weeks or maybe less, maybe more — whatever it takes — something very monumental could be announced.
***
We very much appreciate the letter from President Xi, who — recently, just now, I was handed a beautiful letter.  I appreciate that.  And I also, maybe in particular — I’m very happy to read these headlines that just came out: “China Bans All Types of Fentanyl, Cutting Supply of Deadly Drug to the United States and Fulfilling a Pledge to President Trump.”  “China Announces New Crackdown on Fentanyl.”  A terrific thing for the United States.
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