Washington: US President Donald Trump has said that his policy of imposing hefty tariffs on additional USD 250 billion worth of imports from China has hurt Beijing “very badly” and the Communist nation is eager to talk and make a deal.
Trump on 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.
“China’s been hurt very badly over the last number of months. Their markets are down 30 per cent. And our markets are up 55 per cent since I became president,” Trump told his cheering supporters in Mississippi on Tuesday.
“I hope we can make a deal with China, but honestly, who knows? But we’re very happy where we are. Very, very happy,” he said.
The US does not seem to be in a hurry to have a trade deal with China, he indicated, adding that the European Union was eager to enter into a trade deal with the US.
Trump said China had been draining the US.
“They’re taking our money. They’re rebuilding themselves. They’re building a jet a day. They’re building many, many bridges the size and bigger than, like, the George Washington Bridge,” he said.
“What are we doing? We’re bigger than the George Washington Bridge. We’re helping them. We’ve rebuilt China. They’ve taken so much money. I like President Xi, the head of China, but I said, ‘We can’t do this anymore’. So now we put USD 50 billion of tariffs on,” Trump said.
He said China wanted to talk to the US, but he was not ready yet.
“If you do that, we’re going to put an additional USD 267 billion onto your numbers. So we’re going to have USD 500 billion and probably it’ll end up USD 562 billion when you add it all up, including the little stars all over the place. And you know what? They want to talk. They want to make a deal,” Trump said.
“We’re already USD 500 billion behind. So if I go USD 50 billion, you (China) go USD 50 billion, that means we’re at the same place we started from. That’s not what this is all about. We have to bring some balance. We can’t do this,” said the US President.
“So they said, “No”. So it’s USD 50 billion at 10 per cent. I increased it to 25 per cent, and I put USD 200 billion on top of the USD 50 billion. So now we have USD 250 billion at 25 per cent. By the way, billions and billions of dollars. The fake news people back there, all those people with all those red lights…,” he said amidst booing from the audience.
The trade spat between the top two economies of the world began in April with Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into US.
China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about USD three billion on 128 US products. Trump, while demanding China to reduce the USD 375 billion by USD 100 billion retaliated with USD 50 billion tariffs on Chinese products.
In retaliation, China announced plans to impose new tariffs of 25 per cent worth USD 50 billion on 106 American products including items like soybeans which could hurt American farmers.