US-CHINA TALKS HAVEN’T COLLAPSED, SAYS US PREZ TRUMP
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.
TARIFFS IN HAND
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.