Trump says he's 'very thankful' for Chinese President Xi's remarks on trade

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump says he is "very thankful" for Chinese President Xi Jinping's comments on trade.
  • Xi said his country could lower tariffs or better enforce intellectual property protections.
  • Trump says he wants to make "great progress" with Beijing on trade.
President Donald Trump visits the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing on November 8, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is "very thankful" for Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent comments suggesting Beijing could ease up on some trade practices.

"We will make great progress together!" the president tweeted.

Trump tweet

On Tuesday, Xi said China may reduce tariffs on automobiles or other products and boost enforcement of intellectual property protections for foreign firms. His comments followed a series of tariff actions from both Washington and Beijing that increased trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Xi's comments helped to boost U.S. stock markets Tuesday. The three major U.S. indexes all climbed more than 1.5 percent as of Tuesday afternoon. Market watchers fear an escalation in protectionist moves could damage the U.S. economy or American companies.

Trump has alleged trade abuses by Beijing and pushed for China to change its trade practices. He has most pointedly criticized alleged intellectual property theft. Some White House advisors have said his threats to impose stiff tariffs on certain Chinese goods could be a tactic to get China to negotiate.

The U.S. president appeared to see Xi's speech as conciliatory, as he thanked his Chinese counterpart for "kind words on tarrifs (sic) and automobile barriers" as well as "his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers."

President Xi pledged an 'open' China