President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping about trade issues, according to a White House readout of the conversation.
The two leaders spoke mainly about North Korea, but included trade in the topics of conversation.
The White House said that Trump “expressed disappointment” that the trade deficit with China continued to grow and that he told Xi that it was “not sustainable.”
The president continues to talk tough on trade with China, but has expressed interest in softening his position in exchange for Chinese cooperation in containing North Korea’s nuclear threat.
“You always have to have flexibility. As an example, we’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea,” Trump said last week in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Wall Street interests have repeatedly warned the president that any attempt to disrupt the current trading relationship with China would have dramatic effects on the booming stock market.