US President Donald Trump. (File)
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said China is "dying" to make a trade deal with him but it is up to him whether or not finalise it, as the top officials of the two countries restarted negotiations in Shanghai after the talks stalled in May.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Rober Lighthizer kicked off their latest round of talks with their Chinese counterparts on a potential trade deal. Washington and Beijing have so far hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than USD 360 billion in two-way trade.
“China is dying to make a deal with me. But whether or not I'll do it, it's up to me. It's not up to them,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
He was responding to a question on the progress being made on talks between the two countries to hammer our bilateral trade deal.
The talks which started last November after Trump's meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping collapsed in May.
Trump alleged that China backtracked from its promises at the last minute even as the draft of the deal was ready.
Trump said that China is waiting for the next presidential elections and hopes that he will be defeated and then they can talk with his next Democratic successor.
He warned that if he wins re-election in the November 2020 US presidential contest, the outcome could be no agreement or a worse one.
“I think China's willing to give up a lot. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to accept it. I think of China had their wish, they'd wait till after the election. They'll pray that Trump loses and then they'll make a deal with a stiff, somebody that doesn't know what they're doing like Obama and Biden, like all of the presidents before, because what they've done is they've just picked our pockets as a nation. That's not happening with Trump,” the President said.
Responding to a question, Trump alleged that China itself is the biggest problem to the trade deal. China, he noted, would love to wait and just hope.
“They hope--it's not going to happen, I hope, but they would just love if I got defeated so they could deal with somebody like Elizabeth Warren or Sleepy Joe Biden or any of these people, because then they be allowed and able to continue to rip off our country like they've been doing for the last 30 years,? he said, referring to his potential Democratic presidential rivals in 2020.
“China has been taking out hundreds of billions of dollars a year with our country. And now what I've done with the tariffs is, number one, they had the worst year they've had in 27 years, yesterday's Wall Street Journal, the worst year in 27 years. Companies are leaving China by the thousands and their prices are coming down,” he said.
Trump said the US is taking in billions and billions of dollars in the form of tariffs.
“Our people are not paying for it. China reduced their currency. They devalued their currency and they're pumping money into the system in order to pay for it. They had the worst year in 27 years. They've had a terrible year because of the tariffs. A lot of companies are moving out of China, he said.
“You've never seen this before. The US is doing phenomenally well and we're taking in tens of billions of dollars for--from China. We're giving some money to our farmers who have been really targeted by China to do a number of them and because they farmers like me and I love the farmers,” he added.