President Donald Trump kept hope of a U.S.-China trade deal alive Friday as trade officials prepare for a major meeting at the G20 summit.
“We’re working very hard. If we can make a deal that’d be good. I think they want to. I think we’d like to,” said President Trump before heading into a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “There’s some good signs. We’ll see what happens.”
President Trump and his trade team are set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese officials for a dinner meeting focused on trade during the G20 summit in Argentina.
Trump made the comments in response to shouted reporter questions. He had just finished lauding the “robust” relationship between the U.S. and Japan, particularly in their trade cooperation. He pointed out a diminished trade deficit between the U.S. and Japan.
“I think there’s probably no time in our history when we’re closer, and I’ll be going to a tremendous event in Japan,” said Trump. A 2019 G20 summit is set to take place in Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also spoke at the press availability with Trump ahead of their meeting. He congratulated Trump on his historic midterm election victory and remarked, “The alliance between Japan and the United States has become more robust than ever.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, White House chief of staff John Kelly, and National Security official Matt Pottinger were seated on the sidelines during the remarks.