Trump on G-20: 'China wants to make a deal; if we can make a deal we will'

China has rejected fresh US accusations of perpetuating "unfair" trade practices, showing little sign of backing down days ahead of a high-stakes meeting between leaders from both countries.
Mr Trump speaking to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day.
Mr Trump speaking to the press at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day.PHOTO: AFP

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA (AFP) - United States President Donald Trump insisted on Thursday (Nov 22) he was “very prepared” for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next week at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Argentina, and suggested a deal could be reached to end the trade war.

The President will meet Mr Xi on the sidelines of the summit, which is taking place from Nov 30 to Dec 1 in Buenos Aires.

“I have been preparing for it all my life,” Mr Trump told journalists at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, where he gave a lengthy press conference after a Thanksgiving Day telephone address to US troops deployed overseas.

“I know every ingredient, every stat. I know it better than everybody knows it. My gut is always right,” he said of his preparations.

Beijing and Washington have been locked in a trade war since this summer, with the US imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese goods worth US$250 billion (S$343 billion) a year. In retaliation, China imposed tariffs on US$110 billion of US goods.

Washington has threatened to toughen measures even further if the issue is not resolved before January.

“China wants to make a deal. If we can make a deal, we will,” Mr Trump said.

He also hailed his “great relationship” with Mr Xi.

“I like him a lot. I think he likes me. Probably likes me less now than he did before we did what we’re doing,” he quipped.