The trade chill between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping may be thawing as Trump talked to, and scheduled meetings with, Xi for this month’s G20 meetings in Argentina.
Trump revealed Thursday that he had spoken with Xi on several subjects, but focused on trade. “Just had a long and very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade,” said Trump. “Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina. Also had good discussion on North Korea!”
Just had a long and very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade. Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina. Also had good discussion on North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2018
Trump told Breitbart News during mid-October remarks from the South Lawn that the Chinese economy was not well, they have taken too much money from the U.S., and were not ready to negotiate trade with the U.S. “China wants to make a deal. China would love to make a deal,” Trump told Breitbart at the time. “I don’t think they’re ready yet.”
“What they’ve done to our country is take out anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion a year. Rebuilt China,” Trump told Breitbart at the time. He said China wanted to make a deal, adding, “They are not doing well. If you look at their economy, the Chinese economy is not doing well. And we’re doing very well. We’re doing better than we’ve ever done.”
Trump said that in early October China wanted to come in and make a deal, but he told them they weren’t ready.
President Trump has made very clear to China that they must change their “unfair” trade practices including theft of U.S. intellectual property. He has also emphasized the need to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.
G20 leaders will gather in Argentina for a summit near the end of November. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin participated in G20 meetings last July in Argentina. Mnuchin has led delegations in trade meetings with China. Those meetings have stalled on and off and have yet to lead to a deal. Trump’s Thursday tweet was an indication that the U.S. and China may be headed to renewed momentum in trade talks between two of the world’s major economic players.