US President Donald Trump on Monday said the phase one of the trade deal with China was going to be signed ahead of schedule.

“We are looking, probably, to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal. We’ll call it ‘phase one’, but it is a very big portion,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked whether the US-China trade deal would be signed on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Both Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to attend the APEC summit in the Chilean capital Santiago from November 11 to 17. The APEC comprises 21 countries.

“That (first phase of the deal) would take care of the farmers. It would take care of some other things too. It will also take care of a lot of the banking needs,” Trump said.

“So we’re about, I would say, a little bit ahead of schedule, maybe a lot ahead of schedule. Probably, we’ll sign it. I imagine the meeting is scheduled for Chile. I know they have some difficulties, right now, in Chile. But I know the people of Chile and I’m sure they’ll be able to work it out,” said the president.

Trump kicked off the trade war in June last year demanding China to reduce the massive trade deficit which climbed to over USD 539 billion in 2018.

The talks to end the trade war so far have been deadlocked as China resisted Trump’s demand for intrusive verification mechanism to supervise Beijing’s promise for protection of Intellectual Property Rights, technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.

The US-China trade war has had an adverse affect on the global economy, with hundreds of billions of dollars of two-way trade subject to steep tariffs.

The International Monetary Fund has said the trade war has moved beyond the theoretical and is inflicting “real harm, potentially shrinking the global economy by USD 700 billion in 2020”.