Washington: US President Donald Trump Monday threatened to impose new tariffs on additional USD 267 billion worth of imports from China and asserted that there will be no deal with Beijing unless it changes its unfair trade practices.
Referring to his trade war with China, Trump told reporters at a White House news conference that China wanted to talk to the US very badly, but he was not ready yet.
“As you know, we have USD 250 billion at 25 per cent interest with China right now, and we could go USD 267 billion more. China wants to talk very badly. I said, ‘Frankly, it’s too early to talk’.
“Can’t talk now, because they’re not ready, because they’ve been ripping us for so many years. It doesn’t happen that quickly,” he said.
“If politically, people force it too quickly, you’re not going to make the right deal for our workers and for our country. But China wants to talk, and we want to talk to them,” Trump said.
He said the US had USD 375 billion in trade deficits.
China has a surplus of USD 375 billion with United States and it has been that way for years and years and years, he said.
“I always say we rebuilt China. They took that money and they built fighter jets and they built bridges. They built more bridges that we built in the last hundred years, probably. Big ones like the George Washington Bridge, like big bridges,” he said.
Trump said he did not blame China.
“I blame our leadership. They should have never let that happen,” he told reporters in response to a question.
“I told that to (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping). I said, I was making a speech in China and I was really hitting China hard. And I’m in China. I don’t know if that’s a good thing to do. But I looked at it and said, I don’t really blame you. I blame our leadership for allowing this to happen. He knew exactly what I meant,” he said.
On September 18, Trump announced imposing new tariffs on an additional USD 200 billion worth of imports from China, escalating the trade war with the Asian giant.
To counter China’s unfair practices, he had announced on June 15 that the US would impose tariffs of 25 per cent on USD 50 billion worth of Chinese imports.
“We don’t have a deal with China. There is no deal. They do whatever they want. So we have a tremendous problem with theft of intellectual property with China. We have a lot of other problems with China. We have primarily trade problems. And, as you know, they’re having a much more difficult time now. I don’t want them to have a difficult time,” Trump said.
“When we put on a 25 per cent tariff on every car that comes from the United States into China, we thought we would be rebuked, we thought it would be terrible. Nobody ever called. Nobody did anything. That was years ago,” he said.
Trump said the US was charging China nothing.
“Two and a half, but we don’t collect it. We do now, by the way. But we don’t collect the two and a half. So they charge 25, we charge essentially nothing,” he said.
The United States has done better than it has ever done, he said.