WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump said Monday he expected to raise the punitive tariff rates on hundreds of billions in Chinese imports as scheduled next year.
Just days ahead of a planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump also vowed to put tariffs on all remaining imports from China if the two sides failed to reach a deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Trump already has imposed tariffs on more than US$250 billion in Chinese goods -- about half of the total imported each year -- in an attempt to pressure the country to change its trade rules.
"If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on," he told the newspaper, referring to the remainder of Chinese imports which so far have not been hit with tariffs.
"The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States."
If he goes ahead with the additional punishing duties taxes, it would include Apple products produced in China.
In September, Washington slapped 10 per cent duties on $200 billion in imports from China in an effort to get Beijing to reverse alleged unfair trade practices such as the forced transfer of intellectual property and massive state intervention in markets.
The duties are due to go rise to 25 per cent on at the start of next year - something US companies and markets are hoping can be averted.
Another $50 billion already faces 25 per cent punitive tariffs.
Beijing was hoping Washington would call off the planned increase as a result of this week’s meeting between Trump and Xi. — AFP