Trump talks trade with Chinese president amid heightened tensions

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President Trump said Thursday that he spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping amid heightened trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump in a tweet described their phone conversation as “long and very good” and said they placed a “heavy emphasis” on trade.

The president indicated they would discuss the issue at next month’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit of world economic powers. Such a meeting has not yet been officially announced by the White House.

“Just had a long and very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade. Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina,” Trump tweeted. “Also had good discussion on North Korea!”

{mosads}There had been few signs before Thursday that Trump and Xi would be willing to back away from a burgeoning trade war between their two countries.

The U.S. president warned earlier this week that he was ready to move ahead with billions of dollars worth of new tariffs on Chinese goods if he doesn’t reach an agreement with Xi.

“I have $267 billion waiting to go if we can’t make a deal,” he told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Tuesday. 

“I’d like to make a deal right now,” he added, but said that China is “not ready.”

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the U.S. was preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if talks between Trump and Xi at the G-20 fail to ease trade tensions.

At the same time, Trump expressed confidence he could eventually broker an agreement with Xi.

“I think that we will make a great deal with China, and it has to be great, because they’ve drained our country,” he told Ingraham.

Washington has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing has responded with $110 billion in retaliatory duties.

Trump has previously threatened to slap tariffs on all other Chinese imports if Xi’s government does not address U.S. concerns over China’s trade practices as well as accusations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

–Updated at 10:55 a.m.

Tags China Donald Trump Tariffs Trade Trump tariffs

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