Following a recent breakdown in trade talks, US President Donald Trump has indicated that he is ready to escalate the trade war further if a deal is not brokered at the upcoming G20 meeting.
China has been accused of intellectual property theft, manipulation of its currency and propping up its businesses with state money for decades.
US President Donald Trump says he is ready to impose another round of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports if he does not reach a trade deal with China’s president at a Group of 20 summit later this month.
Since two days of trade talks last month in Washington ended in a stalemate, Trump has repeatedly said he expects to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 28–28 June summit in Osaka, Japan. China has not confirmed any such meeting.
Trump said last week he would decide after the meeting of the leaders of the world’s largest economies whether to carry out a threat to slap tariffs on at least US$300 billion (US$431 billion) in Chinese goods.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Trump said he still thought Xi would attend the summit. When asked if a fresh round of US tariffs would go into effect if the Chinese leader was not at the meeting, Trump said, ‘Yes. It would.’
‘If we don’t make a deal, you’ll see a tariff increase,’ Trump told CNBC. He added that he has a ‘great relationship’ with Xi and said Beijing wanted to make a deal with the US.
China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that China is open to more trade talks with Washington but has nothing to announce about a possible meeting.
Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing rose sharply in May after the Trump administration accused China of having reneged on promises to make structural economic changes during months of trade talks.
The US is seeking sweeping changes, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of US trade secrets.
It also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and better access for US firms in Chinese markets.
On 10 May, Trump slapped higher tariffs of up to 25% on US$200 billion (AU$287 billion) of Chinese goods and then took steps to levy duties on an additional US$300 billion (AU$431 billion) in Chinese imports.
Beijing retaliated with tariff hikes on a revised list of US$60 billion (AU$86 billion) in US goods.
The US government also angered China by putting Huawei Technologies on a blacklist that effectively bans US companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.
Investors worry China will retaliate by putting US companies on a blacklist or banning exports to the United States of rare earth metals, which are used in products such as memory chips, rechargeable batteries and cell phones.
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The Australian Tribune Editorial