After China’s recent refusal to confirm whether Chinese ruler Xi Jingping would meet with President Trump at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan or whether he would even attend the international gathering, President Trump was asked by CNBC if he would impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods if Xi refused to meet with him. President Trump responded that in such a case he would impose the tariffs. President Trump confirmed Tuesday, June 18, that he and Xi would be meeting in Japan.
The most pressing issue of their discussion will be the stalled trade negotiations between China and the United States.
Head U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was questioned by members of Congress on Wednesday regarding the trade situation with China.
Lighthizer said, “They had good negotiations. They went on for a period of months. Everyone knows the history of it and I think we were making good headway. I think in the final analysis the Chinese side decided that they couldn’t go forward on the basis that we are. And at that point negotiations stopped. I don’t want to say broke off because there was no real break off.”
On May 10, President Trump increased tariffs on China to 25 percent on all $250 billion of previously tariffed goods after the president said that the Chinese regime backed out of earlier agreements in their ongoing trade negotiations.
At Tuesday night’s official announcement of his re-election campaign for 2020 in front of 20,000 supporters in a packed arena in Orlando, Florida, the president brought up the Chinese trade deal and negotiations with China along with media speculation that the tariffs would cause significant inflation, which has not been seen.
“When the fake news tells you that you’re paying; in the case of China, they devalued their currency. That helps them. … And you’re not paying very much if you’re paying anything at all; the case of China. And we are taking billions and billions of dollars in. And remember this. … We have never taken in 10 cents from China. We would lose five hundred billion dollars a year with China. We rebuilt China. They’ve done a great job. But they took us for suckers. And that includes Obama and Biden. We took. They took us for suckers,” said the president.
As stated on multiple occasions, the president again reaffirmed his willingness to walk away without a deal.
The president said, “And we’ll see what happens. But we’re going to have a good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all and that’s okay too.”
President Trump has stated that if a trade deal isn’t reached with China, the stated tariffs would be imposed on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods, which would essentially amount to tariffs being charged on everything that China exports to the United States and potentially have a devastating effect on China’s economy.
Playing the good cop, Lighthizer took a softer tone.
“But I think it’s in the interest of both China and the United States to have some kind of a successful agreement. The president has said he definitely wants an agreement. … I have a conversation set up with my counterpart on the telephone in the next day and a half and then I expect to meet with him, with Secretary Mnuchin in, in Osaka before the president meets and then I expect the president to have the meeting,” said Lighthizer.
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