Very good chance of making a deal with China, says Donald Trump

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (far left) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (third from left) with China's Vice-Premier Liu He (centre) when they met in Shanghai in July. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (third from left) with China's Vice-Premier Liu He (centre) when they met in Shanghai in July. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump has said his administration has a "very good chance" of making a trade deal with China, and insisted there were no links between the talks and his desire for Beijing to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Mr Trump, who spoke to reporters on Friday, said negotiations to end the US trade war with China were separate from any probe into Mr Biden, whom the Republican President has accused of corruption abroad.

"One thing has nothing to do with the other," Mr Trump said when asked whether he would be more likely to make a deal with China if it investigated Mr Biden.

"I want to do a trade deal with China, but only if it's good for our country," he said.

Top-level US-China trade talks are scheduled to resume on Thursday and Friday, when Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He meets US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington.

The talks will be preceded tomorrow and Tuesday by deputy-level discussions, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier.

Mr Trump has waged a two-year effort to change China's trade, intellectual property and industrial policy practices, which he has long said are unfair and have cost millions of US jobs.

His administration is seeking stronger protections of US intellectual property, an end to forced transfers of American technology to Chinese firms, curbs to industrial subsidies and increased access to China's largely closed domestic markets.

 
 
 
 

In a trade war that has lasted 15 months, the US and China have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods.

"I view China as somebody we're trying to make a deal with, we have a very good chance of making a deal with," Mr Trump said.

"Right now, we're in a very important stage in terms of possibly making a deal. If we make it, it will be the biggest trade deal ever made."

Mr Kudlow, in television interviews, held out hope for progress in opening China's financial services markets to American companies in this week's talks, adding that the US team was heading into them "open-minded".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 06, 2019, with the headline 'Very good chance of making a deal with China, says Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe