Trump says China wants to make trade deal, but White House officials warn no sign of pact

  • President Donald Trump said Friday that China "wants to make a deal" on trade with the United States, but he also said any pact has to be reciprocal.
  • Trump's comments sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its high of the day, briefly trading more than 170 points higher.
  • The president spoke to reporters in the Oval Office during the signing of a cybersecurity bill at the White House.

President Donald Trump said Friday that China "wants to make a deal" on trade with the United States, but he also warned that any pact has to be "reciprocal."

Trump's comments sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its high of the day, briefly trading more than 200 points higher in session highs.

But White House officials immediately after Trump's remarks told CNBC that people should not read too much into those claims, because there is no sign of a deal coming soon.

After CNBC aired that qualification, the DJIA gave back nearly all of its gains seen on Trump's statement.

The president spoke to reporters in the Oval Office during the signing of a cybersecurity bill at the White House.

"China wants to make a deal," Trump said, adding that China had recently sent a list of trade items the nation is open to compromise on.

"Large list," Trump noted.

The president said that tariffs the United States recently imposed on a range of Chinese products have put pressure on that country to agree to a trade pact.

"I think we'll have a deal. We'll find out very soon," he said.

"We have to have reciprocal trade. We can't have trade that's meant for stupid people, and that's the way they took advantage of our country."

Trump said, "China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years" by virtue of trading arrangements that had Americans buying billions of dollars worth of Chinese products every year and China buying relatively few American-made products.

"We have helped create China as we know it today," Trump said.

— Additional reporting by CNBC's Eamon Javers