President Trump on Thursday said he’d prefer to reach a full agreement with China on trade, intellectual property and other issues rather than take a piecemeal approach, but did not rule out the possibility of the latter.
“I’d rather get the whole deal done,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a GOP retreat in Baltimore.
“Look, if we’re going to do the deal let’s get it done,” he added. “I see a lot of analysts that are saying an interim deal, meaning we’ll do pieces of it, the easy ones first. But there’s no easy or hard. There’s a deal or there’s not a deal.
“But it’s something we would consider I guess, but we’re doing very well.”
The response came after Bloomberg reported that some Trump advisers were mulling an interim deal that would scale back some tariffs while U.S. and Chinese officials dealt with more complex aspects of negotiations.
The president on Thursday touted the stock market gains that came after he announced the previous night that he would delay an upcoming increase in tariffs on $250 billion in goods from China by two weeks at the request of Beijing, calling it a “gesture of good will.”
Trump said Chinese officials had asked him for the delay because Oct. 1 — the day the tariffs were set to increase — is the same day the People’s Republic of China will be marking its 70th anniversary. The tariffs will now increase on Oct. 15, Trump said.
The decision to push back the tariffs, paired with scheduled talks between representatives of both countries in the coming weeks, mark a potential thawing in negotiations.
Discussions had stalled in recent months and Trump had pledged to impose increased tariffs on Chinese imports. The move prompted Beijing to threaten retaliatory measures, raising fears of a global recession.