President Donald Trump reversed from his prior position and expressed optimism at a G7 meeting on future de-escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China.
At the summit, Trump said that Chinese officials had called U.S. officials and expressed a desire to restart negotiation talks. However, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, immediately expressed that he was unaware of such a call taking place.
“We hope the U.S. can return to reason as soon as possible and create conditions for consultations based on mutual respect and that is mutually beneficial,” Mr. Shuang said.
Trump was not able to confirm whether the specific call he was referencing actually took place.
“I don’t want to talk about calls. We’ve had calls. We’ve had calls at the highest levels.”
The renewed optimism is a major reversal from the trade war tensions that have strengthened over the past week. Last Friday, Beijing imposed new levies on U.S. goods which provoked the U.S. and resulted on an increase of tariffs on Chinese goods. Additionally, Trump went further by announcing that U.S. companies start exploring feasible ways to relocate out of China. Trump does not have that authority, but has cited the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 as a means of enforcing this potential demand.