Today, Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, said that he was in no rush to complete a trade deal with China. He also insisted that any deal would include protection for intellectual property, one of the major sticking points between the two sides during months of discussions.
President Trump and Xi Jinping, the President of China, had been expected to hold a summit at the Mar-a-Lago property of the US President in Florida later this month, however, no date has been set for a meeting and no in-person discussions between their trade teams have been held in over two weeks.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, the US President said that he thought that there was a good chance for a deal would be made, in part since China wanted one after suffering from the tariffs that were imposed by the United States on its goods.
However, he acknowledged that President Xi may be cautious of coming to a summit without an agreement in hand after seeing him end a separate summit in Vietnam with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, without a peace deal.
Trump stated: “I think President Xi saw that I’m somebody that believes in walking when the deal is not done, and you know there’s always a chance it could happen and he probably wouldn’t want that.”
The president likes to highlight his own deal-making abilities. He said that an agreement to end a months-long trade war could be completed ahead of a presidential meeting or completed in-person with his counterpart.
He stated: “We could do it either way. We could have the deal completed and come and sign, or we could get the deal almost completed and negotiate some of the final points. I would prefer that.”
Last month, President Trump decided to raise the tariffs that are imposed on goods from China at the beginning of March, giving a nod to the success of the negotiations so far.
However, hurdles remain, and intellectual property is considered to be one of them. Washington criticises Beijing of forcing U.S. firms to share their intellectual property and transfer their technology to local partners in order to do business in China. Beijing rejects that it engages in such practices.
When asked today if the intellectual property had to be included in a trade deal, Trump answered: “Yes it does.”
He implied that from his perspective, a meeting with Xi was still possible.
He said to reporters at the White House: “I think things are going along very well – we’ll just see what the date is.”
He added: “I’m in no rush. I want the deal to be right. … I am not in a rush whatsoever. It’s got to be the right deal. It’s got to be a good deal for us and if it’s not, we’re not going to make that deal.”
Even though Trump said that he is not in a hurry, a trade deal this spring would give him a triumph to cite as an economic accomplishment as he advances his re-election campaign for the 2020 Presidential Elections.
The trade war has negatively affected the global economy and hung over stock markets, which would likely benefit from an end to the tensions.