U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs for Camp David from the White House in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that trade talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work toward a deal.
U.S. officials are meeting with their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping in December agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled international markets.
Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to hacking. China retaliated with tariffs of its own.
Trump said the U.S. tariffs had hurt China.
“I think China wants to get it resolved. Their economy’s not doing well,” Trump told reporters at the White House before boarding the Marine One presidential helicopter. “I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate.”
Beijing on Friday cut bank reserve requirements amid slowing growth at home and pressure from the U.S. tariffs.
Asked what he expected to come out of this week’s talks in Beijing, Trump sounded a positive note.
“The China talks are going very well,” he said. “I really believe they want to make a deal.”
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Lisa Shumaker