Muslim Times(Web Desk) – US President Donald Trump says he is “in no rush” to complete a trade pact with China that could potentially end a months-long trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Trump made the remarks during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday, ahead of a possible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the former’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida later this month.
The US president used the failure of a summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam last month to claim that he was a tough negotiator.
“I think President Xi saw that I’m somebody that believes in walking when the deal is not done, and you know there’s always a chance it could happen and he probably wouldn’t want that,” Trump said.
The US president also said an agreement to terminate the protracted bilateral trade war could be reached ahead of a presidential meeting or completed in-person with his Chinese counterpart.
“We could do it either way. We could have the deal completed and come and sign, or we could get the deal almost completed and negotiate some of the final points. I would prefer that,” he said.
Asked whether the intellectual property had to be part of a trade deal with China, Trump said, “Yes it does,” and indicated that a meeting with Xi would still be likely.
“I think things are going along very well — we’ll just see what the date is,” the US president said. “I’m in no rush. I want the deal to be right… I am not in a rush whatsoever. It’s got to be the right deal. It’s got to be a good deal for us and if it’s not, we’re not going to make that deal.”
China has not yet officially confirmed the meeting but the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Xi had expressed willingness to “maintain contacts” with Trump.
The US and China have been battling over trade tariffs since last year.
In December last year, the American president imposed a March 1 deadline on Beijing, saying that if the deadline expired without enough concessions from China for a comprehensive trade deal, the US tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports might increase from 10 percent to 25.
However, Trump partially relented afterwards, saying that he was considering a 60-day extension of the current deadline in an attempt to give more time to the talks, depending on progress made during lower-level talks in the Chinese capital.
The US is demanding extensive changes to Chinese practices that the White House has branded as unfair, including the alleged theft of US technology and intellectual property. Washington also accuses Beijing of setting up myriad barriers for foreign companies to work in the Chinese market. China rejects the allegations.
Beijing has offered to increase its purchases of US products but is widely expected to resist calls for far-reaching changes to its industrial policies.