U.S. President Donald Trump, looking to pressure China to speed up talks on a new trade agreement, says that starting Friday he will impose sharply higher tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese exports to the United States.
Trump said Sunday on Twitter, “For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results.”
He said, “The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that China is considering canceling trade talks scheduled to take place in Washington this week.
The White House press secretary had not yet responded to VOA for comment regarding the Wall Street Journal report.
Washington and Beijing have engaged in reciprocal tariff hikes over the last year while negotiators have engaged in lengthy trade talks, alternating negotiations between the two capitals. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed last December to forestall new tariffs while the talks were going on, but it was not clear how Trump’s announcement would affect the negotiations, set to resume in Washington on Wednesday.
Despite an initial goal of finishing by March 1, the two countries have continued to debate several issues, but have yet to complete a deal. Both sides, representing the world’s two biggest economies, have said progress is being made.
The two countries have been trying to resolve disputes over intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. It is not clear whether the tariffs both countries have imposed will remain in place if an agreement is reached.