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US-China Trade Deal 'Potentially Very Close', Says Donald Trump

But his remarks were a rejoinder to statements made hours earlier by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who told a gathering of dignitaries in Beijing that China wanted a deal but was "not afraid" to fight back if needed.

AFP

Updated:November 22, 2019, 9:13 PM IST
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US-China Trade Deal 'Potentially Very Close', Says Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump holds what appears to be a prepared statement and handwritten notes after watching testimony by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he speaks to reporters while departing for travel to Austin, Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, November 20, 2019. (Reuters)

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday said Washington and Beijing could be on the cusp of sealing a partial trade deal but reiterated he was in no hurry to sign.

But Trump's remarks were a rejoinder to statements made hours earlier by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who told a gathering of dignitaries in Beijing that China wanted a deal but was "not afraid" to fight back if needed.

"We have a deal, potentially very close," Trump said during a freewheeling interview on Fox News. "He wants to make a deal much more than I want to make it. I'm not anxious to make it."

Trump added that revenues from tariffs on Chinese imports were a windfall for the United States, something economists say is in fact weighing on the economy.

Trump's remarks did little to clarify if the two parties are in fact making progress in finalising the text of the "phase one" agreement he announced last month.

China has called for a rollback of existing US tariffs as part of the agreement but US officials have said instead they could consider delaying a fresh round of duty increases that are set to take effect on December 15.

The US-trade conflict is now well into its second year, with hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade subject to steep duties.

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