U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned China not to retaliate against a hike in tariffs he imposed last week and said that the nation “will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal.”
There “is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today … China should not retaliate-will only get worse!’’ Trump tweeted, adding that tariffs can be avoided if manufacturers shift production from China to other countries.
Trump lifted tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports last week.
He also ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to draft paperwork imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, which would effectively blanket all Chinese imports with duties.
The president’s denial that U.S. consumers would be affected by the spike in tariffs ran counter to the words of his own economic adviser.
White House National Economic Council Director, Larry Kudlow, said on Sunday that “both sides” would likely suffer amid increased trade tensions with China.
Trump continued to accuse China of reneging on a trade deal the two countries had been negotiating and threatened the nation with economic pain if the trade war drags on; saying businesses will leave China in droves.
“I say openly to President Xi and all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries.
“Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, and you backed out!” Trump said.
Similarly, China said it “would never surrender to external pressure.”
The trade war between the world’s top two economies heightened on Friday after Trump hiked tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, saying China reneged on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations.
Beijing vowed to respond to the latest U.S. tariffs. “As for the details, please continue to pay attention.
Copying a U.S. expression – wait and see,” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said at the daily news conference on Monday.
Geng said: “We have said many times that adding tariffs won’t resolve any problem … We have the confidence and the ability to protect our lawful and legitimate rights.”
Chinese state media kept up a steady drum beat of strongly worded commentary on Monday, reiterating that China’s door to talks was always open, but vowing to defend the country’s interests and dignity.
In a commentary, state television said the effect on the Chinese economy from the U.S. tariffs was “totally controllable.”
“It’s no big deal. China is bound to turn crisis to opportunity and use this to test its abilities, to make the country even stronger.”