“The signal he’s sending today, about walking away, is that he’s prepared to do that if he doesn’t like the deal,” said Jon Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday.
President Trump’s summit with Kim Jung Un ended abruptly without reaching a deal after North Korea demanded to lift U.S. led sanctions.
"Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn't do that ... we had to walk away from it," Trump told reporters after summit talks were cut short on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday announced that the U.S. would abandon plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods ahead of a March deadline reached in Buenos Aires last year.
Just last week, Trump said that the U.S. was “closer than ever" to reaching a trade deal with China and that he would hold a “signing summit” with Xi to seal the deal.
“We had a negotiation going on for about two days, it’s going extremely well,” Trump said while delivering remarks at the White House. “We are very much working very closely with China and President Xi, who I respect a lot, very good relationship that we have, and we are a lot closer than we ever were in this country with having a real trade deal.”
Trump also said that he expected a future summit at Mar-a-Lago with President Xi in March.
Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement,” Trump said in a tweet.
While this could mean that Trump and Xi may actually sign a trade deal, said Hilsenrath, at the same time, it could also mean that the president has conceded.
“[Trump is] a slippery negotiator. He is sending a signal today that he’ll walk away,” said Hilsenrath. “But as I said before, there have already been months of talks between the U.S. and China at pretty senior levels. It looks like they are moving towards something.”
The U.S. and China are the world's leading economies.