The failure of the United States and China to reach agreement Friday on a comprehensive trade deal raises the possibility that President Donald Trump’s favorite negotiating tool – high tariffs on imported goods – may be hardening into a permanent feature of the U.S. economy.
Two days of talks ended Friday with no sign of the agreement that both governments once had predicted would be achieved by this point. After parting company with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pronounced the latest discussions “constructive” but declined to elaborate.
Less than 12 hours earlier, U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods had increased to 25% from 10%, in a sign of the president’s waning patience with the negotiations.
Trump, who has started the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining U.S. imports of Chinese goods, also issued a flurry of tweets embracing tariffs as his preferred economic policy and hinting that the China levies might linger.
“The relationship between President Xi and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations . . . into the future will continue. In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!” the president tweeted.
NEW YORK (AP) — His trade war already raging worldwide, President Donald Trump on Friday brandished his aggressive actions as a political weapon at home, too, casting himself as a fighter for American workers and scorning his chief Democratic rivals as weak.
Trump’s actions have already caused economic harm to some of the regions that backed him in 2016 . Yet the Republican president is showing little regard for the political risks — or his party’s traditional embrace of free trade — as he stakes out his position on an issue that could define the 2020 presidential contest as much as any other.
(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said it would be wise for China to “act now” to finish a trade deal with the U.S., predicting that “far worse” terms would be on offer for them after what he predicted would be his certain re-election in 2020.
“I think that China felt they were beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election,” Trump said Saturday in a pair of early-evening tweets. “The only problem is that they know I am going to win.”
Trump’s comments came a day after talks between the two economic superpowers ended without a resolution, the U.S. increased its tariffs on billions of dollars of imports, and China made clear what it wants to see from the U.S. in talks to end their trade war.
In a wide-ranging interview with Chinese media after talks in Washington ended Friday, Vice Premier Liu He said that in order to reach an agreement the U.S. must remove all extra tariffs, set targets for Chinese purchases of goods in line with real demand, and ensure that the text of the deal is “balanced” to ensure the “dignity” of both nations.
Liu’s conditions underscore the work still to be done if an accord is to be reached between the world’s two largest economies. Trump’s own negotiators told China it has a month to seal a deal or face tariffs on all its exports to the U.S.
That threat was made during talks Friday in Washington, hours after Trump upped the ante by imposing a second round of punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods. China vowed retaliation, but hadn’t announced any details as of early Sunday morning in Beijing.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the administration would on Monday release details of its plans for tariffs on an additional $300 billion in imports from China, setting the process in motion for Trump to deliver on the threat to hammer all Chinese trade.