TRUMP FOR MORE CHINA TAR­IFFS

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - News - Yash­want Raj ■ yash­want.raj@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Pres­i­dent be­lieves the US has the up­per hand in the trade dis­pute with China and re­port­edly in­structed aides to press ahead with tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion of Chi­nese im­ports even as his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­newed a push for ne­go­ti­a­tions.

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump be­lieves the US has the up­per hand in the trade dis­pute with China and re­port­edly in­structed aides to press ahead with tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion of Chi­nese im­ports even as his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­newed a push for ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Trump asked for ad­di­tional tar­iffs on Thurs­day dur­ing a meet­ing with se­nior trade and com­merce of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing trea­sury sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin, who in­vited the Chi­nese ear­lier this week to re­sume talks that had been in­con­clu­sive.

There has been no an­nounce­ment about new tar­iffs as yet.

“We are un­der no pres­sure to make a deal with China, they are un­der pres­sure to make a deal with us,” Trump tweeted ahead of the last meet­ing. “Our mar­kets are surg­ing, theirs are col­laps­ing. We will soon be tak­ing in Bil­lions in Tar­iffs & mak­ing prod­ucts at home. If we meet, we meet?”

A higher tar­iff of 25% is al­ready in force on $50 bil­lion worth of im­ports from China, and the pe­riod for pub­lic com­ments on a pro­posal to ex­tend it to an­other $200 bil­lion worth of goods ended re­cently. Though an im­ple­men­ta­tion sched­ule hasn’t been an­nounced as yet, Trump is push­ing for it to be rolled out.

Bloomberg, which first re­ported the new move to im­pose fur­ther tar­iffs, said when Trump was asked at Thurs­day’s meet­ing if he wor­ried about the im­pact of new tar­iffs on ne­go­ti­a­tions, he replied in the neg­a­tive.

Trump has hinted at an­other tranche of tar­iffs of $267 bil­lion.

“The $200 bil­lion we are talk­ing about could take place very soon de­pend­ing on what hap­pens with them. To a cer­tain ex­tent it’s go­ing to be up to China,” Trump said. “And I hate to say this, but be­hind that is an­other $267 bil­lion ready to go on short no­tice if I want. That to­tally changes the equa­tion.”

The Chi­nese have con­firmed re­ceiv­ing Mnuchin’s in­vi­ta­tion for talks and wel­comed it.

But China is un­cer­tain if talks are lead­ing any­where and whether the US in­ter­locu­tors speak for their mer­cu­rial and un­pre­dictable pres­i­dent.

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