Trump delivers hard line on China tariffs threat
President Donald Trump warned yesterday he will slap huge new tariffs on China if his counterpart Xi Jinping doesn’t show up for a planned faceto-face meeting later this month and insisted the Chinese economy will never overtake the United States. Trump delivered his hardline message ahead of the G20 summit on June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan, which could mark a turning point in the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.
Asked if a failure by Xi to come to the summit would lead to tariffs kicking in on a further $300 billion in Chinese imports, Trump told CNBC television: “Yes it would.” Trump said the meeting was “scheduled” and that he expects Xi to attend. “I would be surprised if he didn’t go,” Trump said.
“I think he’s going, I haven’t heard that he’s not.” However, as U S -Chinese tensions mount, a spokesman for Xi’s government said last month that he had “no information at present” on Trump-Xi talks. Trump has been trying to strongarm China into fundamental change on trade policies that the president argues have for decades put the United States at an unfair disadvantage.
The two sides seemed to be close to striking a bargain until talks stalled last month. Washington says that Beijing walked away at the last minute, while the Chinese side has signaled it is prepared for a long fight against unreasonable demands.