The world's two biggest economies are locked in a dispute over U.S. complaints that China is using predatory tactics in a drive to supplant American technological dominance.
U.S. President Donald Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs on all $500 billion-plus goods imports from China if Beijing fails to meet his demands for sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and local market access.
"I think we will make a deal with China and I think it will be a very fair deal for everybody", Trump said while speaking to reporters from the White House.
The US president spoke to Xi on Thursday and later tweeted that trade talks with China were "moving along nicely" ahead of face-to-face talks between the pair at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month.
However, a senior Trump administration official on dismissed the report as untrue, a CNBC reporter said in a post on Twitter. It "likely reflects the fact that businesses in the US are starting to feel the impact of the trade conflict through higher prices and squeezed margins", she said. At a campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri, he added: "They want to make a deal".
Trump has claimed that negotiations with China to end the trade war between the two nations are going well. Earlier this year, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.
Trump said in a tweet on November 1 that he had "a long and very good conversation" with Xi, offering some hope that trade tensions may cool after the G20 meeting.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China was probably Washington's biggest long-term security challenge and the United States was engaged in a "multi-pronged effort.to convince China to behave like a normal nation on commerce" and respect global law.
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.
The trade dispute has also forced the yuan to fall in value but on Friday it was stronger for the first time this week, also helped by Xi's pledge on Thursday of more support for private firms.
"They want to make a deal so badly".
Xi on Thursday said he looks forward to meeting with Trump in Argentina and hopes the two sides build stable relations, according to China's state media. That will be led by the agency's National Security Division head, John Demers, and will increase the use of Justice Department tools to counter China's activities, the official said.
"There's no massive movement to deal with China", he said.