Washington: President Donald Trump on Thursday said that China wants to have a trade deal with the US as the Communist nation is not doing well due to the tariffs slapped by America. The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other's goods.
"China very much wants to make a deal. We will see what happens. I like where we are right now. We are doing great as an economy, they are not doing very well because of the tariffs," he told reporters at the White House ahead of the US visit of a high-level Chinese delegation for talks on bilateral trade.
Trump wants to reduce the massive trade deficit with China. Last year, he had imposed massive import duties on Chinese products. Beijing retaliated with its own import duties on the US products.
In December last year, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting in Argentina agreed to give a pause to the trade war and reach an agreement before March 1. Till then Trump had agreed not to impose any new tariffs on Chinese products.
Trump threatened that in the absence of a new trade deal by March 1, he is all set to impose additional tariffs after that. "As you know fairly soon the deal that I made with them will come off, the tariffs will be substantially increased on China. They are paying billions of dollars to the United States Treasury, first time we've ever done that, first time we've ever had money coming the other way from China. It's always been a one-way street," he said.
Trump said he enjoys a good relationship with Xi. "We will see what happens but we are doing very well in our negotiation with China. One way or the other it doesn't matter. One way or the other we are going to do well," he asserted.
Earlier, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett told CNN that deal with China is bound to happen. "I am confident that it can happen. That the talks are moving forward. There's a lot of progress to be made. But, you know, it's a very strong situation right now," he said.
Ahead of the much-awaited meeting, a top Chinese official said in Davos that the two countries need each other. "The Chinese and the US economies are mutually indispensable, so their relations must be mutually beneficial and win-win," Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan told delegates assembled at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Ski-resort of Davos.
"This is the reality: neither side can do without the other side," he added.