WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that trade talks with China are going well, but no agreement will be nailed down until he and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping meet in the coming weeks.
“No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points,” Trump tweeted.
No formal meeting between the two leaders has been announced.
Trump aides met Wednesday with a China delegation to discuss a new trade agreement, and will talk again Thursday. Trump himself is scheduled to meet with the head of the delegation in the afternoon.
Last year, the U.S. and China hit each other with tariffs, spawning fears of a trade war that that could damage the global economy. Trump and his advisers have accused the Chinese of unfair trade practices, from government subsidies to intellectual property theft, claims the Chinese have consistently denied.
Late last year, Trump and Xi agreed to stop further tariffs and hold negotiations for a new overall trade agreement.
They set a deadline of March 1, after which new tariffs would go into effect if no agreement is reached.
Expressing optimism in a brief tweet storm Thursday, Trump said the meetings “are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides. China does not want an increase in Tariffs and feels they will do much better if they make a deal. They are correct.”
While saying he expects to meet with Xi to nail down a final deal, Trump also left an implied threat to the Chinese.
“Tariffs on China increase to 25% on March 1st,” he said, “so all working hard to complete by that date!”