World

Trump calls trade war with China ‘a little squabble’

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump called the trade war with China "a little squabble" and insisted talks between the world's two largest economies had not collapsed, as investors remained on guard for a further escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs.

"We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very unfairly for many, many decades," Mr Trump told reporters, referring to US complaints about Chinese intellectual property and subsidy practices.

Mr Trump also denied that talks with China had broken down after Washington punctuated two days of negotiations last week with another round of tariffs on Chinese imports, with Beijing following suit on Monday with higher tariffs on US goods.

UPBEAT

He described the dialogue with China as "very good" and touted his "extraordinary" relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"It's a nice bounce-back certainly after yesterday for sure," said Mr Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager of Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

"It seems like President Trump has been more jovial and more upbeat in making comments that hopefully will get this trade situation squared away. I think that's got investors buying the dip."

Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing that it was his understanding that China and the US had agreed to continue "pursuing relevant discussions".

"As for how they are pursued, I think that hinges upon further consultations between the two sides," he said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will plan for a trade meeting in China at some point, a US Treasury spokesman said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that "nobody wins a trade war", but he hoped Mr Trump's tactics in negotiations with China would put the US in a better position to move talks forward with Beijing. - REUTERS

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