Trump says tariffs on Chinese goods may stay for 'substantial period'

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that the United States may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a 'substantial period' to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement

Reuters March 21, 2019 05:05:11 IST
Trump says tariffs on Chinese goods may stay for 'substantial period'

Trump says tariffs on Chinese goods may stay for substantial period

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that the United States may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a "substantial period" to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement.

The stance could complicate U.S.-China trade talks set to resume next week, as Chinese officials have been pressing for a full lifting of U.S. tariffs as part of any deal, people familiar with the talks have said.

Trump said his top negotiators, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would leave for Beijing this weekend, confirming plans for talks next week disclosed on Tuesday by an administration official.

The face-to-face talks will be the first since Trump delayed a March 1 deadline to avert a rise in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

"The deal is coming along nicely," Trump said to reporters at the White House, adding that the China trip was intended "to further the deal."

But when asked about lifting U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump said: "We’re not talking about removing them. We're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal, China lives by it."

Trump did not elaborate on his plans for the tariffs. His negotiators have demanded that China agree to an enforcement mechanism to ensure that Beijing follows through on any reform pledges in any deal.

Washington is demanding that China end practices it says force the transfer of American technology to Chinese companies, improve access for American companies to China's markets and curb industrial subsidies.

Since July 2018, the United States has imposed duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, including $50 billion in technology and industrial goods at 25 percent and $200 billion in other products including furniture and construction materials, at 10 percent. China has hit back with tariffs on about $110 billion worth of U.S. goods, including soybeans and other commodities.

The eight-month trade war between the world's two largest economies has raised costs, roiled financial markets, shrunk U.S. farm exports and disrupted manufacturing supply chains.

Later on Wednesday, during a speech in Lima, Ohio, Trump emphasized again that he wanted the United States to reach a "great" trade deal with China.

"We're so far down, it's got to be a great deal. If it's not a great deal, you never catch up," Trump said in remarks at a military tank manufacturing plant.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Lima, Ohio, and David Lawder in Washington; Writing by David Lawder, Doina Chiacu and Makini Brice; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.