Trump Says China Tariffs Will Go "Even Higher" Without Deal

An MSC cargo ship leaves PortMiami on Aug. 31 2019

An MSC cargo ship leaves PortMiami on Aug. 31 2019

The last stages of trade agreements are often where talks break down, and Trump still hasn't publicly indicated his approval. "I'm very happy with China right now", Trump said during a press spray at a cabinet meeting. "We'll see what happens".

The U.S. will raise tariffs on Chinese goods "even higher" if the two sides can not finalize a trade deal, President Trump said Tuesday at the White House. China has pushed for a removal of the additional duties imposed on each other's products in different phases, as part of the deal. In October, President Trump had claimed that that both countries had managed to negotiate a major phase one deal, and that a phase two deal was likely to be close at hand. Several days earlier, a Chinese official said agreement had been reached on mutual cancellation of some tariffs, but Trump said he hadn't agreed to anything.

"They'd like to have a rollback. I haven't agreed to anything", Trump has said, as quoted by CNBC. "China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback because they know I won't do it".

The world's two largest economies have been locked in a trade war for almost 18 months. The talks were described as "constructive".

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters late on Thursday in Washington that "we are coming down to the short strokes" and are "in communication with them every single day".

A new set of USA tariffs are scheduled to go into effect December 15 that could affect cellphones, laptops and toys right before Christmas. The 15% tariffs would affect $156 billion in Chinese consumer goods.

The two sides have held working-level video conferences focused on issues ranging from the details and timeline of Chinese purchases of United States agricultural goods to commitments to curtail theft of intellectual property that Trump is demanding from China, according to people familiar with the discussions.

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