Trump says tariffs on China could stay to ensure compliance

21 Mars, 2019, 05:35 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Trump speaks before departing the White House

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a "substantial period", dampening hopes that a new trade agreement would see them lifted soon.

Trump and Netanyahu have enjoyed a close relationship and Trump has been applauded in Israel for recognizing Jerusalem as their capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there.

Chinese officials have shifted their stance because after agreeing to changes to their intellectual-property policies, they have not received assurances from the Trump administration that tariffs imposed on their exports would be lifted, the people said.

Trump said his top negotiators, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would leave for Beijing this weekend, confirming plans for talks next week disclosed on Tuesday by an administration official. The U.S. also wants China to promise not to retaliate against those tariffs. "We're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal, China lives by it".

President Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House during his visit to Washington next week, a trip that comes just weeks ahead of the embattled leader's bid for reelection next month.

Trump initially said he expected to seal any final bargain at a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month but that expectation has faded as momentum in the talks has slowed.

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Trump did not elaborate on his plans for the tariffs.

The US had threatened to raise import duties on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on 1 March. Instead, they've acknowledged that is what China is seeking without directly characterizing the USA policy.

The eight-month trade war between the world's two largest economies has raised costs, roiled financial markets, shrunk USA farm exports and disrupted manufacturing supply chains.

Over the last 8 months, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion in 2-way goods trade, weighing on the manufacturing sectors in both countries.

"We're so far down, it's got to be a great deal. If it's not a great deal, you never catch up".

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