US very close to trade deal with China: Trump

PTI Washington | Updated on November 30, 2018 Published on November 30, 2018

A file photo of US President, Donald Trump.   -  AFP

The US is very close to a trade deal with China, President Donald Trump has said, but remained non-committal to its final outcome ahead of his meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.

Trump’s remarks came as he prepared to depart for the summit. Trade and tariffs have been topics of increasing tension between the US and China.

Trump administration has imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. More than $50 billion of that total is subject to a 25 per cent duty. Another $200 billion has been hit with a 10 per cent tariff with plans to increase that to 25 per cent on January 1. Trump has also repeatedly threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining imports from China. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own on US imports.

“I think we’re very close to doing something with China, but I don’t know that I want to do it because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes. So I really don’t know,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The annual summit of leaders of the top 20 economies of the world is being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, all eyes are on the Trump-Xi dinner meeting on Saturday, wherein the current trade tension is expected to dominate the proceedings.

The Wall Street Journal said the two countries are exploring a trade deal in which the US would hold off on further tariffs through the spring in exchange for new talks looking at big changes in Chinese economic policy. As of now there is no certainty on the deal, the daily said citing unnamed governmental sources.

Trump argues that the massive balance of trade in China’s favour is not sustainable for the American economy. Trump has accused China of unfair trade practices, and stealing of intellectual properties. China has denied these allegations.

Published on November 30, 2018
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