Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

'I think we'll make a deal with China' on trade, says Trump

'I think we'll make a deal with China' on trade, says Trump

Trump said earlier on Twitter that he and Xi had a "very good" conversation.

Over the past 24 hours, the White House has sent a flurry of mixed messages about the status of trade talks with Beijingamid an ongoing tit-for-tat that started with Trump's decision to tax billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports.

Markets moved higher after Bloomberg reported US President Donald Trump wants to reach an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 nations summit in Argentina later this month.

President Donald Trump has suddenly suggested that the U.S. and China could make a deal to end the trade war.

The news comes as the volatile trade relations weigh in on the United States stock market, with stocks taking a turn after a rally in world equity markets came to a close and gains reversed on Wall Street.

And Trump himself has repeatedly said the Chinese were "not ready" to make a deal yet and none was likely in the near future. It was unclear if Trump was easing up on US demands that China has resisted.

After their last publicly reported phone call in May, Trump rekindled trade talks by easing sanctions on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp, only for negotiations to break down days later.

The Trump administration also has taken action to hit the Chinese semiconductor industry, indicting two companies accused of stealing trade secrets and banning U.S. software and equipment exports to one of them.

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President Trump has made very clear to China that they must change their "unfair" trade practices including theft of USA intellectual property.

Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining goods imports from China, which previous year were worth US$505 billion. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade.

The Chinese president also said he would like to meet Trump at the G20.

The United States has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110 billion worth of US goods.

Just after the upbeat readouts of the Trump-Xi call, the Justice Department announced the latest in a list of actions against what the Trump administration calls China's cheating through intellectual property theft, unfair corporate subsidies and rules hampering US corporations in China. He has said that he could pull the trigger on about $265 billion.

Tu Xinquan, a trade expert at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, said he was sceptical that the Trump administration was truly ready to deal, and that other factors, such as the mid-term congressional elections, could be driving statements from the administration.

"If we can open up China and make it fair, for the first time ever - this should have done years ago by other presidents but it wasn't - I am very much willing to do it".

China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110-billion worth of USA goods.

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