Trump says trade deal 'possible' with China's Xi, tariffs could be lower
Trump says trade deal 'possible' with China's Xi, tariffs could be lower

By Susan Heavey, Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible this weekend but he is prepared to impose U.S. tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports if the two countries continue to disagree.

Trump, who departed for the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, on Wednesday, also raised the possibility that he may impose a lower, 10% duty on a $300 billion list of Chinese imports, instead of the proposed 25% rate.

Trump is expected to meet with Xi on Saturday in Osaka, a conversation that could revive stalled negotiations between the world’s two biggest economies or launch a much deeper, costlier trade war that would drag down global growth and roil financial markets.

“It’s absolutely possible. … We have to get a good deal,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network. “It’s possible that we’ll make a deal, but I’m also very happy where we are now.”

Relations between Washington and Beijing have spiraled downward since talks collapsed in May, when the United States accused China of reneging on pledges to reform its economy.

Trump said Chinese leaders “want to make a deal. They want to make a deal more than I do.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also was added to the U.S. delegation at the last minute at Trump’s request, a senior U.S. official said at a Washington event where Ross had been scheduled to speak.

Some Chinese officials who were not previously part of China’s delegation were also applying for Japanese visas, an industry source briefed on the matter said, adding that this was a possible sign of momentum for the Trump-Xi meeting.

Shortly after Trump returns from the Osaka summit, he will be in a position to impose a 25% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods from cellphones, laptop and tablet computers to tube socks and baby carriers.

A public comment period on the tariffs ends on July 2 following seven days of public hearings in which U.S. companies large and small begged to be spared from the tariffs and warned of hardships in shifting production out of China..

“I would do additional tariffs, very substantial additional tariffs, if that doesn’t work, if we don’t make a deal,” Trump said on Wednesday. But he added that he could consider lowering the duty to 10% from the proposed 25%.

Administration officials have said that a 10 percent tariff is more easily offset by Chinese companies absorbing the added costs and by declines in the value of China’s yuan currency.

China and the United States have already imposed tariffs of up to 25% on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a trade war that has lasted nearly a year.

More than half of Chinese consumers have recently avoided U.S.-made products in support of their country, according to a new poll conducted by London-based advisory firm Brunswick. The poll of 1,000 Chinese and 1,000 American consumers showed that 68 percent of Chinese respondents said their opinions of American firms had become more negative, while 59 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of China-based companies.

Global trade tensions contributed to a 2.1% drop in the April U.S. trade deficit to $50.8 billion as both imports and exports fell, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday. But the April U.S. trade deficit with China jumped nearly 30% to $26.9 billion, while the trade gap with Mexico fell sharply.

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday forecast that imposing a 25% tariff on the $300 billion in Chinese goods would chop 0.4 percent from world economic output. The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 0.5 percent reduction, equivalent to erasing South Africa’s economy.FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about prices before charging patients for healthcare services, at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

Trump said China knows what the United States needs for a trade deal, and pushed for China to return to the negotiating table with the same concessions they had made before talks abruptly ended in May.

The two sides could agree not to impose new tariffs as a goodwill gesture to get negotiations going, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.


Trump has bipartisan support on taking a tough stance on China, although not for his use of tariffs as a tool to exert pressure on Beijing.

A senior Democrat said on Wednesday he hoped the standoff with China would result in lasting changes.

“We’ve gone this far – we ought to be working to try and have some of the structural changes, some of the advantages, some of the (intellectual property) protections, and China living up to its obligations under the (World Trade Organization),” said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer.

Blumenauer, who chairs the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means trade subcommittee, said he disagreed with what he called Trump’s “drive-by tariffs” and hoped the president would not accept a deal that simply involved selling more goods to China rather than changing bilateral terms of trade.

Trump said if Washington was unable to reach a deal, his plan was to reduce business with China. Asked about companies relocating production from China to Vietnam, he said Vietnam treated the United States even worse than China.

The United States is cracking down on companies that have used countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia as staging posts to ship goods from China to the United States without paying tariffs.

Reporting by Susan Heavey, Tim Ahmann and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Writing by David Lawder and Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott, Simon Webb, James Dalgleish and Jonathan Oatis

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Washington Examiner
  • The Federalist
  • The Epoch Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Gateway Pundit

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said he has told President Joe Biden many times that the United States needs to take more aggressive action at the southern border as illegal immigrants… [...]

U.S. natural gas industry leaders are amping up calls for the Biden administration and other governments to embrace the energy source ahead of a tough winter for much of the… [...]

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin defended his administration's model policies on transgender students, saying the previous policies "excluded parents" after a day of student protests at numerous public schools. [...]

The actress-turned-director's second film leaves viewers with more questions than answers. [...]

The left cheered as students protested Youngkin's proposed school trans policies. Where was this excitement over the parental rights fight? [...]

Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan sounds a lot different running for Senate than he did running for president. [...]

News Analysis America is experiencing a major increase in crime. Upon a murder explosion that started in 2020, other forms of criminality have metastasized too over the past year or… [...]

The Epoch Times sat down with Bernie Rivers, the Democrat candidate for Orange County Sheriff at his campaign office in Goshen, New York, on Sept. 26. Rivers, the sole Democrat… [...]

House Democrats have released their long-awaited bill to ban stock trading by members of Congress, senior government officials, and U.S. Supreme Court justices, with the legislation seeking to cut conflicts of… [...]

Bank of England left with no action but to intervene after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budgetBusiness live updates: pound tumbles despite Bank moveThe Bank of England has been forced into emergency action… [...]

MPs express disbelief over sterling slump as privately some fear PM’s ‘government is dead on arrival’Liz Truss is facing growing pressure from jittery Conservative MPs to sack Kwasi Kwarteng or… [...]

Opposition leaders urge PM and chancellor to take action over economic fallout and recall parliamentPolitics live – latest updatesDowning Street is resisting pressure to recall parliament, with Liz Truss and… [...]

Imagine the headlines if Trump did this. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday confirmed that Joe Biden will be attending a Democrat fundraiser while Hurricane Ian slams into… [...]

A Rhode Island teacher is facing backlash from parents after sending a threatening email to a student who opposed the district’s plan to “de-level” classes. The Barrington School District has… [...]

The US Embassy and Consulates in Russia warned Americans to leave Russia immidiately. NEW – US Embassy warns Americans to leave Russia immediately — Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 28, 2022… [...]

NH Politician

NH POLITICIAN is owned and operated by USNN World News Corporation, a New Hampshire based media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...