President Donald Trump on Saturday called for China to act now on trade or risk facing a worse deal if negotiations continue into a possible second term after the 2020 presidential election.
Trump claimed China was ‘beaten so badly’ in recent trade negotiations that Beijing wanted to wait until after the 2020 election in the hope a Democrat would win the White House and offer them a better deal.
Trump, however, said he would prevail in the upcoming election and warned that a trade deal would be ‘much worse’ for China if it was negotiated during his second term.
Chinese and U.S. negotiators held trade talks in Washington on Friday after Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, raising the rate from 10% to 25%. The administration is also moving to impose 25% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods.
Trump said Friday’s talks were constructive and negotiations will continue while tariffs remain in place, though they could be lifted depending on how the situation progresses.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin told CNBC no further trade talks are planned between the two sides “as of now.” Chinese state media has reported that the next round of talks is expected to take place in Beijing.
Trump abruptly announced the tariff hike last Sunday, shattering hopes that a trade deal was near and sending U.S. markets into turmoil for much of the week. The president cited slow progress in negotiations as the reason for his decision.
Chinese negotiators had reportedly backtracked on key aspects of the trade deal, removing commitments to change domestic laws to address U.S. concerns about intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers among a number of other issues.