President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his threat to slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates for the recent levies and other measures the United States has imposed in an escalating trade war between the economic giants.
Trump, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, also said China is not ready to reach a deal on trade.
“China wants to make a deal, and I say they’re not ready yet,” Trump said. “I just say they’re not ready yet. And we’ve canceled a couple of meetings because I say they’re not ready to make a deal.”
When asked whether he was ready to levy new taxes in case of retaliation from China, Trump said, “sure, absolutely.”
He added that the current U.S. trade imbalance with China means “they’ve already retaliated.”
Last month Trump imposed tariffs on nearly $200 billion of Chinese imports and then threatened more levies if China retaliated. China then hit back with tariffs on about $60 billion of U.S. imports.
Citing the growing trade war, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019.
Asked about Trump’s remarks at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said a trade war was bad for the global economy and not in the interests of either country.
“But China’s resolution to protect its own legitimate interests is unwavering. No one should have any illusions about this,” Lu said.
The United States wants to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its trade, technology transfer and high-tech industrial subsidy practices.
Trump’s latest comments underline a threat by Washington that it may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods – nearly the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year.
Additional reporting by Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Editing by Bill Berkrot & Shri Navaratnam
WATCH: Trump flees Bedminster press conference after reporter busts him for lying about veterans
President Donald Trump held his second hastily arranged press conference in two days at his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey on Saturday.
Trump began the press conference by falsely claiming credit for the Veterans Choice bill that was signed by President Barack Obama.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale has recorded Trump lying about the bill more than 140 times.
But this time, CBS News reporter Paula Reid challenged Trump on his lies.
Trump accuses Democrats of ‘trying to steal an election’ with mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic
President Donald Trump accused Democrats of conspiring to steal an election at a hastily arranged news conference held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.
And angry Trump lashed out at Democrats for seeking to allow voting by mail in the November election.
Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's press conference, where he questioned if Democrats love America:
Pelosi blasts Trump as ‘not a well person’ and wonders if GOP is motivated by a ‘manhood thing’: report
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefed members of the Democratic Caucus on Saturday about the state of negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill.
Luke Broadwater, a congressional correspondent for The New York Times, posted a thread about the call on Twitter, citing "sources on call."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was also on the call, and reportedly blasted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the failure to reach a deal.
“Meadows, when John Boehner and Paul Ryan was Speaker, impeded every agreement they tried to make with us on must-pass legislation," Hoyer reported said.