Trade war, day 96: Trump says ‘sure, absolutely’ to more tariffs, as all talks through end of 2018 are thrown into doubt | Politics News | SupChina

Trade war, day 96: Trump says ‘sure, absolutely’ to more tariffs, as any talks through end of 2018 are thrown into doubt

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The U.S.-China trade war barrels on towards day 100, with no end in sight. Two big updates today:

First, Donald Trump reiterated his threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports.

  • He told reporters in the Oval Office that “China wants to make a deal, and I say they’re not ready yet…we’ve canceled a couple of meetings because I say they’re not ready to make a deal,” Reuters reports.
  • “When asked whether he was ready to levy new taxes in case of retaliation from China, Trump said, ‘sure, absolutely,’” Reuters notes.
  • Trump then “added that the current U.S. trade imbalance with China means ‘they’ve already retaliated.’”

Second, the two sides are at an impasse when it comes to scheduling additional negotiations.

    • Last week, the Wall Street Journal suggested (paywall) that it was possible the two sides would talk at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires at the end of November.
    • But “US officials have warned China that Donald Trump will not engage in trade talks with Xi Jinping at next month’s G20 summit if Beijing does not produce a detailed list of concessions,” the Financial Times reports (paywall).
    • “The Chinese, however, say they have such a list but would not present it without some guarantee of it being received in a stable political climate in Washington, including a point person with a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Trump administration.”
    • A “stable political climate in Washington” is the opposite of what the rest of 2018 is heading towards, and “a point person” for U.S.-China trade is one thing that the Trump administration has refused to identify, despite many months of Chinese complaints.

Other trade war news and analysis:

Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Day one of decoupling? The uneasy future of U.S.-China relations

Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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