WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that there is a “really good chance” of reaching a bilateral trade deal with China, one day before representatives from the Asian giant resume talks with US officials in Washington.
“If we can make a deal, we’re going to make a deal, there’s a really good chance,” Trump told reporters in Washington, adding “In my opinion China wants to make a deal more than I do.”
Trump said that the main question is whether or not he wants to make a deal with China, and he said – answering his own rhetorical question – “Yes” but it must be the “right” deal.
He said China has great respect for him, adding that there are only two important figures in whether or not the two nations strike some kind of trade accord: Trump himself and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump said he was very happy with the way things are going right now, with heavy US tariffs bringing in “billions” of dollars in customs duties for Chinese goods, although many analysts have said that such tariffs are actually being paid for by US consumers in the form of higher prices on Chinese goods.
The US delegation for the trade talks with China will be headed by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, while the Chinese side will be led by Vice President Liu He.
The talks will resume just days before the US is scheduled to raise tariffs on Oct. 15 from 25 percent to 30 percent on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports.
The latest round in the US-Chinese trade war came on Sept. 1 with the entry into force of tariff hikes from 10 percent to 15 percent on some $112 billion in Chinese imports, a move to which Beijing responded by placing 5-10 percent tariffs on $75 billion in US imports.
Wall Street on Wednesday recovered a measure of optimism that the two sides will be able to strike a deal to the months-long trade war that has sent the market seesawing up and down.