Trump threatens substantially more tariffs if no China deal

Bloomberg London | Updated on November 13, 2019

US President Donald Trump   -  REUTERS

President Donald Trump said the U.S. would increase tariffs on China in case the first step of a broader agreement isn’t reached.

If we don’t make a deal, were going to raise those tariffs substantially, he said Tuesday in a speech to the Economic Club of New York. They’re going to be raised very substantially. And that’s going to be true for other countries that mistreat us too.

China is dying to make a trade deal with the U.S., Trump said, adding that he’d only sign it if its good for American companies and workers. Still, we’re close -- a significant phase one deal could happen could happen soon.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had planned to sign phase one of the deal at an international conference this month in Chile that was cancelled because of social unrest in that country.

A new site for the signing hasn’t been announced. U.S. locations for the meeting that had been proposed by the White House have been ruled out, according to a person familiar with the matter. Locations in Asia and Europe are now being considered instead, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions aren’t public.

Trump reiterated complaints about China’s ascendance in the global economy. Nobody’s cheated better than China, he said. The theft of American jobs and American wealth is over.

U.S. stocks have rallied to records in recent days partly on optimism that tensions are cooling in an 18-month dispute involving tariffs on some $500 billion in trade between the worlds two largest economies. The S&P 500 Index was up about 0.3% as Trump delivered his remarks.

The economic stakes of a prolonged trade war are rising for both countries.

Chinas exports and imports continued to contract in October, though slightly less than forecast by economists. The nations trade surplus with the U.S. widened in the month to $26.4 billion -- heading in the opposite direction from the narrowing that Trump has called for to balance the countries trading relationship.

Published on November 13, 2019

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