U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday it would be "historic" if the U.S. and China could do a fair trade deal during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the sidelines of G20 summit in Japan.
The outcome of today's meetings in the western Japanese city of Osaka will decide if the trade and tariff war would continue between the two powers at the expense of global markets or calm down.
“I actually think that we were very close and ... that something happened where it slipped a little bit, and now we’re getting a little bit closer,” Trump told reporters, with the Chinese president on his side.
“But it would be historic if we could do a fair trade deal," added Trump.
“We’re totally open to it, and I know you’re totally open to it,” Trump told Xi Jinping.
The trade war has already taken its toll on both countries, costing American and Chinese companies billions of dollars, disrupting manufacturing and supply lines, and creating uncertainty in the markets worldwide.
The U.S. president has said he would extend existing tariffs to cover almost all imports from China into the United States if there was no progress from the meeting on wide-ranging U.S. demands for economic reforms.
Xi told Trump China is ready to talk about fundamental issues at stake and urged dialogue.
“Forty years on, enormous change has taken place in the international situation and China-U.S. relations, but one basic fact remains unchanged. China and the United States both benefit from cooperation and lose in confrontation,” Xi said.
Xi said the two global competitors should focus on cooperation rather than confrontation in a bid "to set the direction for our relationship in the period to come and to advance the China-U.S. relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability,” Xi said.
Since he came to office in 2016, Trump has been saying that China is waging an unfair trade war against the U.S. by subsidizing Chinese state-owned businesses, stealing U.S. intellectual property for years, and pressuring American companies to share trade secrets if they want to do business in China.
By Vakkas Dogantekin