Donald Trump says US is ‘doing extremely well’ with China but that he still can’t accept trade war deal yet
- But US president says ahead of meeting with Xi Jinping that the Chinese response is still missing key elements
- Stocks initially rise on Trump’s comments, but some who have seen the response provided by China this week say it is mostly a rehash of previous commitments
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the US had made progress towards resolving the trade dispute with China after receiving a response from Beijing to his demands, ahead of a widely anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina later this month.
Trump told reporters that the Chinese response was missing four or five big things. “China wants to make a deal, they sent a list of things they are willing to do which is a large list and it is just not acceptable to me yet, but at some point I think that, we are doing extremely well with respect to China,” he said.
US stocks erased losses as Trump spoke, with investors looking for any sign that the White House will cool trade tensions with the world’s second-largest economy. Equity markets have reacted swiftly to any trade-related headlines in recent days as the threat of additional tariffs on Chinese goods looms.
Trump said the US would proceed with a threat to impose additional tariffs on US$267 billion worth of Chinese products if the two countries don’t reach a deal, but he added: “We may not have to do that, China would like to make a deal.”
“Hopefully, we will make a deal, and if we don’t, we are doing very well just the way it is right now,” Trump added.
The US president’s comments signal the large gap that still remains between the two sides.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that Trump and Xi at best would be able to come up with a “framework” deal at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30-December 1. That would then be followed by months of talks, Ross said.
People briefed on the list presented by the Chinese side this week also said that it was largely a rehash of prior commitments made by Xi and did not address US demands for significant reforms to Chinese industrial policy.