News ID: 240488
Published: 1228 GMT March 21, 2019

Trump says China tariffs to stay for ‘substantial period’

Trump says China tariffs to stay for ‘substantial period’

US President Donald Trump has warned that he might keep imposing heavy tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to make sure that China will comply with any possible trade agreement resulting from ongoing mutual talks.

Speaking to the reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said his top negotiators, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were headed to Beijing this week to continue the negotiations, reported.

“The deal is coming along nicely,” Trump said, adding that the China trip was intended “to further the deal.”

This could further complicate the talks as unnamed sources have told Reuters that Chinese officials would only agree to a deal when the US fully lifts tariffs imposed on its imports.

In December last year, the American president imposed a March 1 deadline on Beijing, saying that if the deadline expired without enough concessions from China for a comprehensive trade deal, the US tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports might increase from 10 percent to 25.

The face-to-face talks between Chinese and American negotiators will be the first since Trump postponed the deadline in February.

However, Trump insisted that he would keep the tariffs in place until China provides guarantees that it would abide by an agreement.

During another speech in Lima, Ohio, Trump said later in the day that he wanted a “great” trade deal with China.

“We’re so far down, it’s got to be a great deal. If it’s not a great deal, you never catch up,” Trump said at a military tank manufacturing plant.

The US has urged Beijing to agree to mechanism that ensures the Chinese side follows through with the terms of a deal.

Washington is demanding extensive changes to Chinese practices that the White House has branded as unfair, including the alleged theft of US technology and intellectual property. Washington also accuses Beijing of setting up myriad barriers for foreign companies to work in the Chinese market. China rejects the allegations.

Beijing has offered to increase its purchases of US products but is widely expected to resist calls for far-reaching changes to its industrial policies.

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