Trade war: US not ready to make a deal with China, says Trump

Bloomberg Washington | Updated on May 27, 2019 Published on May 27, 2019

US President Donald Trump attends a news conference with Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, not pictured, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, May 27, 2019.   -  Bloomberg

The US is not ready to make a trade deal with China, US President Donald Trump said while on a state visit to Japan.

“I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it,” Trump said on Monday at a joint press conference in Tokyo alongside Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. “They would like to make a deal. Were not ready to make a deal.”

Trump, who is on a state visit to Japan, said American tariffs on Chinese goods could go up “very, very substantially, very easily”. His comments came after trade talks between the two countries stalled earlier this month.

Each side has since blamed the other, and Trump has threatened billions more in tariffs.

Also read: Donald Trump wields a more powerful weapon than tariffs - Tech exports

Trump said businesses were leaving China for countries without tariffs, including the US and Asian neighbours including Japan. Still, he also expressed optimism that the world’s biggest economies would eventually reach an agreement.

“I think sometime in the future, China and the United States will absolutely have a great trade deal, and we look forward to that,” Trump said. “Because I don’t believe that China can continue to pay these, really, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs. I don’t believe they can do that.”

New rhetoric

China this weekend pushed back at the perception that Trumps tariffs are hurting its economy.

“Higher tariffs will have a very limited impact, and would hurt the US about as much,” according to Guo Shuqing, head of China’s banking and insurance regulator. Guo is the highest-ranking Chinese financial official to publicly comment on the trade stand-off since talks deteriorated.

Also read: Ready for further trade talks with the US, says China’s top diplomat

A commentary published by the official Xinhua News Agency accused the US of scapegoating China for its trade imbalance and even some domestic economic issues, as Chinese state media urges unified resistance to foreign pressure.

The United States is attempting to squeeze an unequal trade deal out of China, using measures such as tariff hikes and targeting its tech companies, it said, while praising Beijing’s utmost sincerity in the negotiations.

China has escalated its anti-US discourse since the talks faltered and Trump blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co and scores of its affiliates earlier this month in a bid to stymie its access to the US market. His administration is considering restrictions on as many as five other Chinese tech companies.

Published on May 27, 2019
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