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US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Tues­day said trade talks with China had not col­lapsed, char­ac­ter­iz­ing the trade war be­tween the world’s two largest economies as “a lit­tle squab­ble.”

He made the re­marks to re­porters at the White House as Beijing and Wash­ing­ton ratchet up ten­sions with tit-for-tat tar­iffs on bil­lions of dol­lars of im­ports.

Trump in­di­cated ne­go­tia­tors from the two coun­tries were still talk­ing, say­ing they were hav­ing a good di­a­logue. China’s foreign min­istry spokesman said on Tues­day the two sides had agreed to con­tinue pur­su­ing rel­e­vant dis­cus­sions.

The US and China have been en­gaged in talks for months to re­duce trade ten­sions be­tween the world’s two largest economies, but in re­cent weeks, talks have stalled, with both coun­tries blam­ing each other for the break­down.

Mean­while, in early-morn­ing tweets, Trump kept up his “Amer­ica First” agenda in sup­port of hefty tar­iffs and called on US com­pa­nies to back him by shift­ing their busi­nesses away from China. But he also soft­ened his tone on soy­beans and other agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, appealing to Beijing to act.

“When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” Trump said. “It will all hap­pen, and much faster than peo­ple think!”

“Hope­fully China will do us the honor of con­tin­u­ing to buy our great farm prod­uct, the best, but if not your Coun­try will be mak­ing up the dif­fer­ence,” he wrote in post ad­dress­ing US farm­ers directly.

Trump said on Mon­day that he ex­pected to meet with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at a G20 lead­ers sum­mit in Ja­pan in late June.


Based on an ac­cel­er­ated sched­ule laid out by the US trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s (USTR) of­fice late on Mon­day, Trump will be in a po­si­tion to launch 25% tar­iffs on an­other $300 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese goods when he meets with Xi, adding po­ten­tial lever­age.

USTR said it would hold a pub­lic hear­ing on the tar­iff list on June 17, with fi­nal com­ments due as lit­tle as seven days later. The list in­cludes a wide range of con­sumer goods, from cell­phones and com­put­ers to cloth­ing and footwear, but it ex­cludes phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, some spe­cialty com­pounds and rare-earth min­er­als.

Mean­while, the In­dian gov­ern­ment on Tues­day again ex­tended its dead­line to im­pose re­tal­ia­tory im­port du­ties on 29 US prod­ucts, in­clud­ing almond, wal­nut and pulses, till June 16.

A no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the fi­nance min­istry said that im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­creased cus­toms duty on spec­i­fied im­ports orig­i­nat­ing in the US has been post­poned from May 16 to June 16 this year.

These deadlines were ex­tended sev­eral times since June 2018, when In­dia de­cided to im­pose these du­ties in re­tal­i­a­tion to a move by the US to im­pose high cus­toms du­ties on cer­tain steel and alu­minium prod­ucts.

This ex­ten­sion comes in the back­drop of the US de­ci­sion to with­draw ex­port in­cen­tives be­ing pro­vided to In­dian ex­porters un­der Gen­er­alised Sys­tem of Pref­er­ences (GSP) pro­gramme.


US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

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