US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have expressed optimism about resolving a bitter trade dispute, following a phone conversation between the two leaders.
"I think we will make a deal with China", he told journalists at the White House.
However, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said yesterday that the United States was "not on the cusp of a deal" with China and that the Trump administration was merely doing "normal preparation" before talks this month. "They are very willing to make a deal", said trump.
He will certainly bring the subject to the table when he dines with the Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Argentina later this month.
The United States has targeted $348 billion in Chinese products with tariffs, a move which saw Beijing lashed back with $153 million tariffs USA goods. "By the way, the president on one of the cable shows, did say - it didn't get picked up - that if some kind of amicable deal with China were to happen, then a lot of tariffs might be pulled back".
The meal would give the two leaders more time to talk and create an atmosphere more conducive to negotiations, the sources said.
Despite the positive message from Beijing, analysts were more pragmatic about what could be achieved by the leaders' meeting given the two sides' huge differences on strategic and ideological issues, as well as the growing hostility towards China in the United States.
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.
The Trump-Xi meeting would mark the first since the countries trade relations started to strain with the introduction of import taxes earlier this year. This contradicted a report that the White House was drawing up...
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 USA goods.
The Trump Administration also has taken action to hit the Chinese semiconductor industry, indicting 2 companies accused of stealing trade secrets and banning U.S. software and equipment exports to 1 of them.
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