President Donald Trump declared Tuesday that talks with China on the first phase of a trade deal were near completion after negotiators from both sides spoke by phone, signaling progress on an accord in the works for nearly two years.

“We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s going very well.”

Trump announced Oct. 11 that he had reached the outlines of a “substantial” but partial deal that would see China ramp up purchases of U.S. farm goods, make new commitments to protect U.S. intellectual property, refrain from manipulating its currency and further open its financial sector to foreign investors. Since then, the two sides have been wrangling over how to put the deal on paper and what tariffs the U.S. will drop in exchange.

The negotiations have been complicated by strong support in the U.S. for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong and China’s suspicions that the U.S. is feeding unrest in the territory. Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. wanted to see things “go well in Hong Kong” but added that he was confident of a good outcome.

Chinese President Xi Jinping “can make that happen,” Trump said. “I know him and I know he’d like to make it happen.”

Trump gave no indication Tuesday about whether he would sign legislation Congress passed last week backing the protest movement in Hong Kong. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has warned of “strong countermeasures” in response to the measure.

Trump’s comments came after officials on both sides signaled talks were back on track toward an interim deal after negotiators from the world’s two largest economies spoke by telephone.

Negotiators are “getting really close” to completing the first phase, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News early Tuesday. She told reporters that the sides continue to negotiate sticking points including forced technology transfer and alleged theft of intellectual property, adding that “things like this take awhile.”

In a statement, China’s Ministry of Commerce said officials “reached consensus on properly resolving relevant issues” and agreed to stay in contact on the remaining points in phase one. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office confirmed a conversation took place, but declined to comment on the contents.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed core concerns, according to China’s statement, which didn’t provide further details.

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