WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday “it doesn’t matter” if Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the Group of 20 summit later this month, predicting a trade deal with Beijing would occur at some point anyway.
“We’re going to see. Eventually they’re going to make a deal,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel.
Trump repeatedly said he would meet with Xi at the summit, although China never confirmed the meeting.
Trump also said China manipulates its currency in order to avoid the squeeze of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
“They’re paying hundreds of billions in dollars. I have 25% on $250 billion … They’re manipulating their currency in order to pay for it,” he said.
The United States and China have been embroiled in trade tensions since last year marked by tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s imports as Washington seeks for Beijing to make changes to its business policies.
The two countries were engaged in talks in order to reach a detente, but those ended in May without a deal. Washington has accused Beijing of reneging on several promises, which China has denied.
Separately, the world’s two largest economies agreed to a halt on their dispute at the World Trade Organization over intellectual property rights. The panel did not say why the dispute had been suspended.
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas)