Trump Says He'd Consider Delaying China Tariff Hikes

Right now, the president is set to hike tariffs on Chinese goods if negotiators can't reach a trade deal by March 2.

Trump Says He'd Consider Delaying China Tariff Hikes
Getty Images

During a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the U.S.' economy has grown while China's economy has slowed down — and that could help the U.S. officials currently trying to reach a trade deal in Beijing.

"We have a chance to really make a deal, a real deal with China. We've never been in this position before. We've always been the lame duck, and we're not the lame duck anymore."

President Trump said China wants to make a deal "very badly" because its economy has been hurt by U.S. tariffs. The two countries have called a 90-day "trade truce" to hash out a new deal. If negotiators can't reach an agreement, the U.S. will raise the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.

But the president said if talks go well, he may consider holding off on tariffs after his March 2 deadline.

"If we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while, but generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that."

President Trump said a deal won't be finalized until he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping face-to-face. So far, the Trump administration has not said when that meeting will happen.