President Donald Trump has reaffirmed that new tariffs on Chinese goods are still set to take effect on Sunday, Sept. 1, after a number of companies have called to put back the schedule, CNBC reported.
Speaking to reporters before departing the White House on Friday evening, Aug. 30, President Trump said the tariffs will go ahead as planned, blaming China for putting itself in place by devaluing the yuan.
“It’s a bad situation they’ve put themselves in,” the president said.
President Trump said U.S. and Chinese officials are currently having conversations and the two sides are still scheduled to meet on trade talks in September.
China’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed on Friday that the trade negotiating teams between two countries are maintaining effective communications.
With the new tariffs, the U.S. agencies will begin collecting a 15% tax on $112 billion in Chinese imports from Sept. 1.
President Trump has insisted on the planned tariffs after more than 160 industry groups on Aug. 28 sent a letter to the White House, urging the president to postpone the tariff increase on Chinese goods scheduled for this year, citing the the busy holiday shipping period ahead.
However, the president has repeatedly blamed China for ripping off the United States “for billions and billions of dollars” for decades, since the eras of Obama, Bush, and Clinton, and said it now was time to take on China.
“The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it because I have to do it,” President Trump said on Aug. 20, adding that he has “no choice but to do it.”
The Trump administration started to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports in July 2018 over accusations of its theft of intellectual property, forced transfer of technology, cyberhacking, and industrial espionage.
Trade tensions with the United States have been taking a bite on China’s vast manufacturing sector.
Reuters citing data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday, Aug. 31, showed its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.5 in August, versus 49.7 in July, below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Cooling global demand continued to wreak havoc on China’s exporters, its export orders fell for the 15th straight month to 47.2 in August.
Total new orders—from home and abroad—also continued to fall, indicating domestic demand remains soft, though China has launched a flurry of growth-boosting measures over the past year.