US President Donald Trump has emphasized his low expectation of potential progress in trade talks between senior US and Chinese officials in Washington this week, predicting “no time frame” for ending a trade dispute with Beijing.
“I’m like them (the Chinese); I have a long horizon,” Trump said Monday in an exclusive interview with Reuters.
Trump has initiated what is effectively a trade war with China by imposing unusually heavy tariffs on imports from the Asian country. Beijing has introduced countermeasures. The trade war between the world’s two largest economies now risks escalating as neither seems ready to compromise.
‘China has done too well for too long’
The American president said Chinese negotiators would be arriving in the US capital shortly, saying he did not “anticipate much” from the mid-level talks.
Trump said ending the trade dispute with China would “take time because China’s done too well for too long, and they’ve become spoiled. They dealt with people that, frankly, didn’t know what they were doing, to allow us to get into this position,” in an apparent reference to former US officials.
He further accused China of manipulating its yuan currency to compensate for the payment of the Washington-imposed tariffs.
Trump defends the tariffs as good for America and part of his administration’s bid to pressure China into revising its economic policies to better protect intellectual property, end its industrial subsidy efforts, and open its markets to more foreign competition.
Beijing, however, rejects Washington’s allegations that it systematically forces the unfair transfer of US technology and insists that it adheres to World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations.
The trade talks this week take place as new US tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese goods go into effect on Thursday, along with retaliatory tariffs imposed by Beijing on American goods of equal worth.
The meetings, expected to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, are the first formal US-China trade talks since June, when US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met China’s economic adviser Liu He in Beijing but returned with no agreements.
Trump ‘most likely’ to meet North Korea’s Kim again
During the Reuters interview at the White House, Trump also said he would “most likely” meet North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong-un again and claimed personal credit for halting Pyongyang’s weapons testing.
This is while Kim himself unilaterally announced the suspension of his country’s missile and nuclear tests as a goodwill gesture in April — before meeting for the first time with Trump in July.