Amid the ongoing Beijing visit of a high-powered US delegation led by its Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to hammer out a deal with the Chinese, US President Donald Trump has said China wants a trade deal with the United States "very badly".
"Things are going well with China. China wants to make a deal very badly. I want it to be a real deal, not just a deal that makes (it) -- you know, cosmetically look good for a year. We have a chance to make a real deal with China," Donald Trump told reporters after his Cabinet meeting at the White House on Tuesday.
A high-powered American delegation led by Mr Lighthizer is currently in China for negotiations with his Chinese counterparts on a bilateral trade deal, which, the US says, needs to bring down the bilateral trade deficit, stop Chinese theft of intellectual property and end coercion of American companies in China.
Donald Trump said he has no plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the immediate future or at the end of March. "Not at this moment. We have our people over there now. I just got a report," he said in response to a question.
The United States, he said, is talking from a position of strength. "We've never been in this position before. We've always been a lame duck. We're not a lame duck anymore. We've gone up tremendously in value as a country, in economic value. Tremendously," he said.
China, he said, has the worst performing stock market right now in the world, adding that it is because of the United States, which has one of the best performing stock markets. "But we are the best performing country and we have a lot of potential for further growth," he said.
Referring to the ongoing trade negotiations, Donald Trump said the US is doing very well over negotiations in China and he is happy with possible results of the talks either way.
"I'm happy either way. I could live receiving billions and billions of dollars a month from China. China never gave us 10 cents. It was always the opposite. Now they're paying billions of dollars a month for the privilege of coming into the United States and, honestly, taking advantage of our country. So we'll see how it works out," he said.
During their dinner summit on December 1, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping had agreed to give a temporary pause to the trade war till March 1.
Donald Trump said the new tariff would kick in after March 1 in the absence of a trade deal.
"We have a big team over there in China right now, and they are working very hard, dealing with the Chinese. We want very much to make a deal. We'll see what happens. But the tariffs are bringing a tremendous amount of money to our treasury... The number would be 25 now, on the areas that are taxed at 25. China is paying for 21, and we're paying for 4. So that's pretty good," he said.
"We are bringing billions and billions of dollars into our treasury right now. We'll see what happens, but they very much want to make a deal. Their economy has been hurt by the tariffs. And our economy is thriving like, really, never before. I mean, we're doing incredibly well," Donald Trump said.