WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will move forward with proposed tariffs on $300 million worth of Chinese imports if the leader of the giant Asia nation, Xi Jinping, does not meet with him at the G20 summit later this month in Japan.
“China very much wants to make a deal. They want to make a deal much more than I do, but we’ll see what happens,” Trump said in a telephone interview on CNBC television, during which he announced that if Xi doesn’t show up at the G20 summit, the new round of tariffs will take effect immediately.
“China is going to make a deal because they are going to have to make a deal,” the president said.
Regarding plans to talk with Xi in Japan, Trump said: “We’re expected to meet and if we do that’s fine, and if we don’t – look, from our standpoint the best deal we can have is 25 percent on $600 billion.”
“If we don’t have a deal and don’t make a deal, we’ll be raising the tariffs,” he said.
He once again hailed the power of tariffs to place the United States at “a tremendous competitive advantage,” and cited the agreement reached this weekend with Mexico for the southern neighbor to either strengthen migration control or have new tariffs imposed on it.
“The China deal is going to work out. You know why? Because of tariffs,” Trump said. “Right now, China is getting absolutely decimated by companies that are leaving China, going to other countries, including our own, because they don’t want to pay the tariffs.”
In May, Trump raised the tariffs on Chinese imports worth $200 billion from 10 percent to 25 percent and threatened with similar duties the rest of Chinese imports if no accord is reached with Xi at the G20.
China retaliated for the levies by imposing tariffs on $11 billion worth of goods from the United States and has signaled that it is prepared to take further steps if Trump acts on his threat.
Chinese exports recovered notably in May and increased 7.7 percent year-on-year in yuan terms even amid the bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies, though analysts warned that the upward trend was likely to reverse in the third quarter.
The data shared by the General Administration of Customs on Monday also showed that imports to China declined by 2.5 percent last month following a 10.3-percent rise in April.
The volume of international trade increased some 2.9 percent year-on-year in May to stand at 2.59 billion yuan ($374 billion).
Analyst Marcel Thielant from Capital Economics warned that despite the strong May figures, exports were poised to fall in the third quarter due to decline in global demand and the implementation of the latest tariff rates by China and the US.
Thielant said that Chinese exports to the US would suffer.