U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that China recently sent a list of compromises to reach a trade agreement.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that further tariffs on Chinese goods may not be needed because “China wants to make a deal.”
“They sent a list of things that they’re willing to do, which was a large list,” he added.
Trump’s comments gave a boost to U.S. stocks with the Dow Jones finishing the day up more than 100 points.
Trump, however, remained committed to his longtime demand of “reciprocal trade” with China, which is responsible for a large part of the U.S.’s trade deficit. The U.S. posted a $376 billion deficit in goods with China last year, which is more that 66 percent of its total deficit of $566 billion.
The Trump administration took controversial steps to reduce its trade deficit with protectionist measures and put tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. The president also threatened to place tariffs on an additional $267 billion in goods in an effort to get China back to the negotiating table.
But so far, Washington’s tariffs on Beijing have not provided a remedy, with the U.S. deficit on track to set a record in 2018. The deficit with China also increased to $301 billion in the first 9 months of 2018 — up 10 percent compared to September 2017.
Despite official numbers from his own Commerce Department, Trump thinks his trade policies are working to pressure China to sign a reciprocal trade deal.
“China’s never been put in this position,” he claimed, adding that Chinese asset prices have been down around 30 percent since the imposition of trade measures.
“I think we’ll have a deal. We’ll find out very soon,” Trump said.