WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump expressed doubts Thursday regarding the possibility of reaching a trade deal with China, just as a high-level delegation from Beijing is in Washington for trade talks.
“I tend to doubt it,” Trump told reporters regarding the possibility for the talks to be successful.
“We have been ripped off by China. An evacuation of wealth like no country has ever seen before, given to another country that’s rebuilt itself based on a lot of the money they’ve taken out of the United States,” the president said prior to his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House.
Trump’s statement comes at the same time that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s main economic advisor, Vice Premier Liu He, is in Washington to hold trade talks with US officials.
Despite having recently threatened to impose new tariffs on Chinese products, the US president rejected the possibility that a trade war would break out.
“When you’re losing $500 billion a year on trade, you can’t lose the trade war, you’ve already lost it,” Trump said.
The Trump administration has demanded that China slash its trade surplus with the United States by $200 billion and that it increase intellectual property protections to reduce tensions.
The White House confirmed that Trump would meet with Liu on Thursday, after the Vice Premier’s meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.