WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese officials “always change the deal in the end to their benefit” and warned Beijing that he would take an even tougher stance on trade if re-elected in 2020.
“China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 – was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now – no signs that they are doing so. That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through,” the president said in a series of Twitter posts on the same day that US and Chinese officials met in Beijing for a new round of trade negotiations.
Trump said that despite the trade tensions with China, the United States was doing well.
“Our Economy has become MUCH larger than the Chinese Economy is last 3 years,” the president tweeted.
Chinese and US officials met on Tuesday in Shanghai for the first round of negotiations following the meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29.
“My team is negotiating with them now, but they always change the deal in the end to their benefit. They should probably wait out our Election to see if we get one of the Democrat stiffs like Sleepy Joe,” Trump tweeted, referring to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The world’s two largest economic powers have been engaged in a trade war for months, leveling allegations at each other and slapping tariffs on imports.
In May, Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports worth $200 billion in response to the lack of progress in reaching a trade deal with Beijing.
China, for its part, retaliated by slapping tariffs on US imports worth $60 billion.
Trump later threatened to impose tariffs ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent on another $325 billion of Chinese imports, causing concern in financial markets and the business community due to the possible effect on consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity.
In Osaka, Trump and Xi agreed to a truce in the trade war, with Washington holding off on imposing new tariffs on China and allowing US companies to sell products to tech giant Huawei.
The US government banned Huawei from selling its products in the country on national security grounds in May, ratcheting up trade tensions.
The Trump administration later said that Huawei could resume selling some tech products on Aug. 19.
“China has lost 5 million jobs and two million manufacturing jobs due to the Trump Tariffs. Trumps got China back on its heels, and the United States is doing great,” Trump tweeted.
The trade tensions between Washington and Beijing are rooted in the large deficits posted by the United States with China.
In 2018, the United States posted a trade deficit of $419 billion with China due, largely, to the fact that US exports to Asia’s largest economy totaled just $120 billion, while American imports from China reached $540 billion.
During the first five months of 2019, the US trade deficit with China totaled $137 billion.
Trump said that if the Democrats take back the White House in 2020, China “could make a GREAT deal, like in past 30 years, and continue to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before.”
“The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now ... or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!” the president tweeted.