WASHINGTON—The United States would raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing to end a trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Nov. 19.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting at the White House, Trump said he had a good relationship with China, noting that China was “moving along.” However, he said China would have to make a deal “I like.”
“If we don’t make a deal with China, I’ll just raise the tariffs even higher,” he told a room filled with senior U.S. officials.
The United States and China have been locked in successive waves of tit-for-tat tariffs in a 16-month long trade war.
Hopes were high that a partial trade deal could be signed at a summit in Santiago, Chile that was scheduled for mid-November. The summit was canceled amid unrest in Chile and a path forward for a deal remains unclear.
Sticking points include how and when to reduce tariffs and how much U.S. agricultural products China would commit to buy.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last week that the two countries were getting close to an agreement to end the trade war, but he gave no further details on the timing of a possible deal.
Still, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua said “constructive talks” were held by phone on Saturday between China’s Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
By Steve Holland and Susan Heavey
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