© Getty Images
President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE on Friday expressed confidence he could reach a trade agreement with China during upcoming talks with President Xi Jinping.
“I think we’ll make a deal with China,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a weekend of campaign rallies.
The president said he plans to have dinner with Xi later this month at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, where he said the two leaders would attempt to settle their escalating trade dispute.
“We’re getting much closer to doing something,” the president said. “They very much want to make a deal.”
The leaders' meeting would be their first since the U.S. and China have imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's imports, triggering fears of an all-out trade war that could dampen the world economy.
Any deal would have to be “a good deal for the United States” and a “fair deal” for both countries, Trump said.
Trump's latest comments followed a phone conversation with Xi on Thursday, after which the U.S. president voiced optimism about a potential agreement.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that after the phone call, Trump asked Cabinet officials to throw together the terms for a trade deal with China ahead of his meeting with Xi.
But top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed the notion a deal with China is imminent and said Trump had not made such a request.
“We're doing a normal, routine run-through of things that we've already put together and normal preparation,” Kudlow told CNBC. “We're not on the cusp of a deal.”
The president has long railed against the U.S.'s trade deficit with China, calling it evidence that Beijing is “taking advantage” of Washington.
His administration has sought to crack down on what it says are China's unfair trade practices, including alleged economic espionage, intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.