UPDATED 8:26 AM PT — Friday, April 5, 2019
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is calling for an early conclusion in trade negotiations with the U.S. Chinese officials met with President Trump at the White House Thursday to relay a message from President Xi. The Chinese president’s statement claimed Xi hopes to come to an agreement as soon as possible, and for the two countries to build a foundation of mutual respect.
The two countries are engaged in a trade battle after President Trump announced the U.S. would add 25-percent tariffs on Chinese imports in order to fix the U.S.-Chinese trade deficit. The U.S. and China agreed on a 90-day truce, which was extended as the trade talks progressed.
During the meeting, President Trump was seemingly optimistic about getting closer to a deal.
“We are rounding the turn and we’ll see what happens,” stated the president. “We have a ways to go, but not very far — we’ve made a lot of progress.”
Chinese officials praised the president for his direct involvement with the trade talks, echoing the president’s optimism for the rapid progress.
“We helped make great progress,” said China’s Vice Premier Liu He. “I do think that, because we got direct guidance by two great presidents — President Xi and President Trump.”
The president said a trade agreement should be made within four-weeks, and he intends to meet with China after a deal is made.