As the G-7 summit wound down Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that China is sincere in wanting to complete a trade deal “very badly” with the United States.
During a press conference that marked the end of Group of Seven meetings in France, Trump, standing alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, said he wasn’t “sure they (Beijing) have a choice” but to work out a deal between the world’s two largest economies.
“I don’t say that as a threat,” Trump added.
Earlier Monday, Trump mentioned that China had reached out to U.S. trade officials overnight and were calling to return to the negotiating table.
“China called last night our top trade people and said. ‘Let’s get back to the table,’ so we will be getting back to the table and I think they want to do something. They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world,” Trump said.
“I think we’re going to have a deal, because now we’re dealing on proper terms. They understand and we understand,” he added.
Trump’s negotiating style came under fire during the G-7 summit, as allies to the U.S. claimed that the president’s praise-one-day-attack-the-next style has led to instability in the global economy.
“Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate,” the president said in response to the criticism.
Macron, the summit host who joined Trump at the top of the news conference, said the situation has created economic uncertainty and urged both sides to reach an agreement.
“What’s bad for the world economy is uncertainty,” Macron said, speaking in English. “The quicker an agreement is arrived at, the quicker that uncertainty will dissipate.”
Another ally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tried to sell the president on the value of free trade when they met over Saturday breakfast.
“We’re in favor of trade peace,” Johnson said.
Geng Shuang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, said he was unaware of any phone call taking place, according to CNBC. “I have not heard of the weekend calls mentioned by the United States,” he said.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times, backed up Geng’s claims of no calls as well saying “China didn’t change its position. China won’t cave to U.S. pressure.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.