Trump says China tariffs may stay for 'a substantial period of time'

Sergio Conner
March 22, 2019

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were invited to visit China for the talks, MOF spokesperson Gao Feng told a news conference.

Washington and Beijing now hope to reach a final trade deal during the late-April summit at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to officials in the United States administration.

President Donald Trump said that he will keep tariffs on China until he confirms China had complied with any trade deal.

Trade talks are set to resume next week and Chinese officials have been pressing for a full lifting of USA tariffs as part of any deal.

Washington is demanding that China end practices it says force the transfer of American technology to Chinese companies, improve access for American companies to China's markets, and curb industrial subsidies.

While recent comments that the talks are going well has fueled optimism, Mr Trump seemed to dash hopes trade relations between the world's two largest economies would return to normal.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington
President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington

The stance could complicate U.S. The Trump administration has so far put tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. He also said the talks with Beijing were "coming along nicely".

U.S. officials are concerned that Beijing is pushing back against some American demands in trade talks, people familiar with the matter said.

China had a free reign over our country, taking out $500 billion a year for many years.

Trump issued a warning Wednesday that US tariffs could remain in place for a "substantial period" to ensure that Beijing lives up to any agreement.

Despite Trump's trade wars, the USA trade deficit with China past year hit a record, as American consumers drew in foreign-made goods while weakened United States sales of agricultural commodities weighed on American exports. The US wants to continue to wield the threat of tariffs as leverage to ensure China won't renege on the deal, and would only lift the duties fully when Beijing implemented all parts of the agreement.

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