President Donald Trump said on Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will increase to 25 per cent on Friday from original 10 per cent, an abrupt turn from his administration’s repeated claims that trade talks with were going well and the two country could strike a deal as soon as this Friday.
Originally Trump had threatened to raise the tariffs at the beginning of the year, but postponed that move after China and the US agreed to sit down for trade talks.
In addition, Trump threatened to impose 25 per cent tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods “shortly.”
Trump tweeted that trade talks with China are continuing, but are moving too slowly as Beijing tries to re-negotiate.
China-US trade talks are due to resume this week, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He due to travel to Washington, after the two sides had discussions in April in Beijing, which, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called productive.
On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC that Trump remained hopeful that he could strike a deal with China. Before that, the White House said the latest round of talks had moved Beijing and Washington closer to an agreement.
“Discussions remain focused toward making substantial progress on important structural issues and re-balancing the US-China trade relationship,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders.
It’s been reported that major sticking points between the US and China have been intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers as well as an enforcement mechanism.