Mon, May 13, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Trump to China: Deal now or face worse conditions

AFP, WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump responds to questions from reporters after an event in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington on Thursday.

Photo: Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Saturday told China that it should strike a trade deal with the US now, otherwise an agreement would be “far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term.”

Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade dispute that has seen mounting tariffs, sparking fears that it would damage the global economy.

Two days of talks ended on Friday with no deal. China’s top negotiator, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (劉鶴), said that the two sides would meet again in Beijing at an unspecified date, but added that China would make no concessions on “important principles.”

“I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win -- in which case they would continue to rip-off the USA for $500 Billion a year,” Trump said on Twitter.

“The only problem is that they know I am going to win (best economy & employment numbers in U.S. history, & much more), and the deal will become far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term. Would be wise for them to act now, but love collecting BIG TARIFFS!” he added.

Trump had accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments in trade talks and ordered new punitive duties, which took effect on Friday, on US$200 billion of Chinese imports, raising them to 25 percent from 10 percent.

He then cranked up the heat further, ordering a tariff hike on almost all remaining imports — worth US$300 billion, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer — from China.

Those tariffs would not take effect for months, after a period of public comment.

Trump also said that firms could easily avoid additional costs by producing goods in the US.

“Such an easy way to avoid Tariffs? Make or produce your goods and products in the good old USA. It’s very simple!” he said on Twitter, echoing a similar message he sent on Friday and even retweeted.

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