President Donald Trump said Thursday said trade discussions with China were "moving along nicely" and that he planned to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit after a "very good" talk with his counterpart. China has retaliated with its own tariffs on more than $110 billion of U.S. goods.
"We hope Canada is watching carefully at how successful negotiations can go", he said. "They very much want to make a deal".
"At best, the parties are negotiating about negotiating and we are still miles from a deal", Boltansky said.
In May, after his last phone call with Xi, Trump agreed to ease up on sanctions imposed on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp., saying they would cost too many Chinese jobs.
Alexander said he would be discussing trade with Li, though neither of them mentioned the ongoing tariff war in remarks in front of reporters.
On the back of the escalating trade conflict with the United States, the leaders also pointed out that China's "external environment has seen profound changes".
The deficit in goods and services trade with China increased to $40.2 billion for the month, the highest ever.More news: Broncos’ Von Miller Reacts To Demaryius Thomas Trade With Comical Sadness
The comments came after a Bloomberg report that Trump instructed members of his cabinet to draft a deal that would end the trade war with China and lift the massive tariffs on the country's goods coming into the US.
Separately, the South China Morning Post - also citing unnamed sources - reported that Mr Trump had offered to host a dinner for the Chinese president after the G20 summit.
Stocks surged in Hong Kong and China on the report of constructive talks between Trump and Xi, while the offshore yuan jumped as much as 0.5 percent for the biggest two-day gain since August.
The pound dipped but held most of its gains after a report that British Prime Minister Theresa May had reached a post-Brexit deal with Brussels securing access to the European Union for Britain's key finance sector. It has to be approved by Congress. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told CNBC on Monday that the plan doesn't cap imports of light vehicles from Mexico but does leave steel and aluminum tariffs in place.
Despite the promise offered by the Trump-Xi telephone call, the level of tension between the two nations was demonstrated just hours after it ended when the USA filed charges against Chinese technology firm Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co and its Taiwanese partner.
"The spring of 2019 will be the real hard time for China as multiple factors such as trade tension, slower sales of durable goods and the end of a property boom in lower-tier cities weigh on growth", Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura International Ltd.in Hong Kong, said after the announcement.
James Zimmerman, a partner with the Beijing office of law firm Perkins Coie and former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, questioned Trump's sincerity with regards to a possible trade deal. Earlier this year, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate. "We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade", he wrote.