President Trump is meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House Thursday afternoon amid signs the trade conflict between the two countries may soon be coming to a close. Mr. Trump could also announce the date of a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize the details of an agreement.
The U.S. and China have been in an escalating tariff war for months, as Mr. Trump has accused China of unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning that talks “are moving along nicely.” Speaking at the White House, the president said the two countries are nearing a deal.
“They very much want to make a deal. We’ll see what happens,” Mr Trump said. “It’s got to be a great deal. We’ve been losing for many years, four, five, $600 billion a year, we’re losing. It’s got to be a great deal.”
Liu, who is China’s top trade negotiator, met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday.
Mr. Trump’s meeting with Liu comes hours after heinto the U.S. from Mexico. In order to avoid the tariffs, Mr. Trump says Mexico must do more to prevent illegal immigration into the U.S. and if it does not crack down on drugs crossing the border. He said he would give Mexico a year to prevent immigrants from entering the U.S. before following through on the auto taxes.
“If Mexico doesn’t help, that’s okay. We’ll tariff their cars,” he said. At another point, he said, “If the drugs don’t stop, we’ll tariff the cars. If that doesn’t work, we’ll close the border.”
“The whole ballgame is cars,” he added.