WASHINGTON — The U.S. says it expects that China will retaliate with increased tariffs on U.S. exports after President Donald Trump sharply boosted levies on Chinese products headed to the United States.
The president, however, took to Twitter Monday to urge China not to strike back: “But China has taken so advantage of the U.S. for so many years, that they are way ahead (Our Presidents did not do the job). Therefore, China should not retaliate-will only get worse!”
Chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday” that “both sides will suffer” from the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest economies.
In the U.S., he said that “maybe the toughest burdens” are on farmers who sell soybeans, corn and wheat to China. But he said the Trump administration has “helped them before on lost exports” with $12 billion in subsidies and that “we’ll do it again if we have to and if the numbers show that out.”
Trump said on Twitter Sunday “We are right where we want to be with China.
On Friday, he more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, boosting the rate from 10 percent to 25 percent, while also moving to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese products, although Kudlow said it could take months for the full effect of the tariffs to be felt. China had previously imposed taxes on $110 billion of American products, but has not said how it might retaliate against Trump’s latest increase in tariffs.
Trade talks between the two economic super powers have been going on in Beijing and Washington for months, but they recessed again in the U.S. capital on Friday without a deal being reached.
“We were moving well, constructive talks and I still think that’s the case,” Kudlow said. “We’re going to continue the talks as the president suggested.”
Kudlow said Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to discuss trade issues at the G-20 summit in Japan at the end of June.
The economic adviser renewed U.S. claims that China had backtracked from earlier agreements reached in the talks, forcing negotiators to cover “the same ground this past week.”
“You can’t forget this: This is a huge deal, the broadest scope and scale…. two countries have ever had before,” Kudlow said. “But we have to get through a lot of issues. For many years, China trade was unfair, non-reciprocal, unbalanced in many cases, unlawful.”
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The U.S. has claimed that China steals technology and forces U.S. companies to divulge trade secrets it uses in its own production of advanced technology products.
On Saturday, Trump suggested that China could be waiting to see if he wins reelection next year, but said Beijing would be “much worse” off during a second term of his in the White House.
“I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win,” he said, “in which case they would continue to rip-off the USA for $500 Billion a year.”
“Such an easy way to avoid Tariffs?” the U.S. leader said, “Make or produce your goods and products in the good old USA. It’s very simple!”