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Trump: U.S. treasury secretary had 'very good talk' with Chinese counterpart

EconomyJul 19, 2019 04:39PM ET
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© Reuters. The G7 Finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Chantilly

By Andrea Shalal and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had a very good talk with his Chinese counterpart, amid signals from China that officials could soon meet face-to-face in their bid to end a yearlong trade war.

Officials from the world's two largest economies spoke by phone on Thursday, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in-person talks could follow.

"Secretary Mnuchin did have a call with the Chinese counterpart. They had a very good talk," Trump told reporters at the White House, suggesting that China's worst economic output data in nearly three decades could propel trade talks forward.

"We're dealing with China. ... They're not doing very well. They had the worst year they've had in 27 years. We're having the best year we ever had," he said. "Let's see what happens."

Chinese data this week showed industrial output and retail data beat expectations, but overall figures showed the country's economic growth slowed to 6.2% from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27 years.

The United States and China have been embroiled in a tit-for-tat tariff battle since July 2018, as Washington presses Beijing to address what it sees as decades of unfair and illegal trading practices.

China has countered that any deal needs to be fair and equitable, leaving the two sides apparently still far from an agreement to end the back-and-forth that has roiled global supply chains and upended financial markets.

Hu Xijin, editor in chief of China's Global Times newspaper, tweeted that an in-person meeting could soon follow Thursday's phone call.

"Briefing of the Chinese side on phone talks between Chinese and US trade officials shows face-to-face consultation will not be far away. I think we can expect that some actions may happen, which would be seen as goodwill from each other," Hu said.

The Global Times is not an official mouthpiece for the Communist Party, though its views are believed to at times represent those of its leaders.

The Chinese embassy in Washington and the U.S. Trade Representative's office had no immediate comment on a possible in-person meeting.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan spoke by phone on Thursday with Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding "further consultations, as well as the implementation of Presidential consensus reached in Osaka," the Chinese embassy wrote on Twitter.

Global stocks were rattled this week after Trump on Tuesday reiterated his threat to impose further tariffs on Chinese imports, but he did not repeat that threat on Friday.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during a Group of 20 nations summit in Japan last month to resume discussions, easing fears of escalation after talks broke down in early May.

At the time of the G20, Trump agreed to suspend a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of imported Chinese consumer goods while the two sides resumed negotiations.

Trump: U.S. treasury secretary had 'very good talk' with Chinese counterpart
 

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Comments (12)
Cee Kay
Cee Kay Jul 20, 2019 5:48AM ET
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Trade deal 90.8% complete?
Ji Go
Ji Go Jul 20, 2019 5:48AM ET
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86%
Tom OKray
Tom OKray Jul 20, 2019 5:48AM ET
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It could be 99.8% complete and Trump would still find something wrong an slap more tariffs on China.
David David
David9 Jul 20, 2019 12:00AM ET
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The stats show how.strong China is. The the 25 year worst, they are still gorwing doubled and tripple US at 6.2%. And that us bottomed already. China will resume back to 10%+ growth once the dwal is done. I like to remind you, Buffet said, China has found their secret sauce.
Steve Bucher
Steve Bucher Jul 20, 2019 12:00AM ET
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If the deal is done, China will no longer have the high growth of the past because China will have to play fair and not steal technology. If the deal is not done, China will continue to spiral downwards because of the technology theft and unfair business practices.
David David
David9 Jul 20, 2019 12:00AM ET
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China is on the raise. They are taking the kead in new Tech like 5G, AI, driverless. ars and Robotics. The new economy will rely on China to lead. China will cintinue to grow at 10% soon. They have hit bottom. US has hit top, so next for US is to go down. Is the law of ups and down.
Ng Zen ng
Ng Zen ng Jul 19, 2019 11:42PM ET
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Usa data and numbers are ok
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Jul 19, 2019 9:58PM ET
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They have to say something and like usual is nothing.
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Jul 19, 2019 9:31PM ET
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If they are not doing well, why not simply slap 25% or more tariffs on the remainder $325 billion worth China imports and force China surrender, and then US would be happily thereafter forever? It doesn’t sound congruous to a right mind for the fruitless talks.
Lloyd McCord
Lloyd McCord Jul 19, 2019 6:28PM ET
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China has always lied about their economy. Estimates show their numbers are exaggerated by as much as 40%. America is only one of many countries in the process of decoupling from China. The pace is increasing monthly, and The US is really not interested in making a "deal" with them at this time. If they can't codify laws and enforce free market protections for foreign companies, The exodus will continue. This autocratic dictatorship will never do what is necessary to join the free world, so a deal will never get done, and America and others will continue to limit exposure to their tactics. God speed to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and congratulations to other S.E. Asian countries who advance with the increased investment and profitable new relationships with the civil world. There is no such thing as "99% free".
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Jul 19, 2019 6:28PM ET
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China has been collapsing for last 40 or 70 years in someone’s imagination, laughable or simply pitty soul.
David David
David9 Jul 19, 2019 6:28PM ET
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China does nit want to make a deal right now. They are very clear. Lift tarriffs, meet half for win win on both sides. If not, China will go forward and create their own rising power. Countries can choose them or get left behind. That's how things are now. That is why Buffett said, China has found their secret sauce.
Steve Bucher
Steve Bucher Jul 19, 2019 6:28PM ET
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Very true and well stated!
Jimmy Doan
Jimmy Doan Jul 19, 2019 6:17PM ET
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I had a very good talk with my wife too but she still insists me to sign the divorce settlement!
Ji Go
Ji Go Jul 19, 2019 6:17PM ET
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I feel your pain brother: I’m right behind you.
Vincent Sheu
ShaneS Jul 19, 2019 6:11PM ET
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People should have known long time ago that Trump lies about just anything, everything. Since early May, US is the side who wants to talk very anxiously and China has shown no desire to talk.
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Jul 19, 2019 5:45PM ET
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There will never be a trade deal with China. The Chinese have Saïd it time and time again, they are not going to be bollied into a deal. Sadly,  thats the art of a deal according to chief negosiator Trump. Market is doomed.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Jul 19, 2019 5:34PM ET
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A very short talk maybe...
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Jul 19, 2019 5:21PM ET
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I feel very cheated by this kind of words. Do you?
Suman Jutur
Suman Jutur Jul 19, 2019 4:18PM ET
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like always to hype the market on lies
 
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