Trump ramps up trade war with China by saying they were ‘badly beaten’

Trump ramps up talk of a trade war with China saying Beijing was ‘badly beaten’ in recent negotiations and claims the country would continue to rip off the U.S. for $500 BILLION every year if a Democrat wins in 2020

  • President Trump warned China that it needed to strike a deal with the United States now because it would be ‘far worse’ to negotiate a deal in his second term 
  • U.S. escalates its trade war with China by imposing tariffs on $200billion worth of Chinese goods 
  • However, the move comes after China and the U.S. agree to hold more trade talks in the near future in Beijing 
  • China’s chief negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, said he remains ‘cautiously optimistic’  that a deal can be signed

President Donald Trump warned China on Saturday that it should strike a trade deal with the United States now, otherwise an agreement would be ‘far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term.’

Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade battle that has seen mounting tariffs, sparking fears the dispute will damage the global economy.

Two days of talks ended on Friday with no deal. 

China’s top negotiator said the two sides would meet again in Beijing at an unspecified date, but warned that China would make no concessions on ‘important principles.’


President Trump escalated his rhetoric on the trade war with China a day after talks between administration officials and Vice Premier Liu He (right) ended with no agreement

Trump warned China on Saturday that it should strike a trade deal with the United States now, otherwise an agreement would be ‘far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term’

‘I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win – in which case they would continue to rip-off the USA for $500 Billion a year,’ Trump said in a tweet on Saturday

‘Such an easy way to avoid Tariffs? Make or produce your goods and products in the good old USA. It’s very simple!’ he tweeted, echoing a similar message he sent Friday – and even retweeted

‘I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win – in which case they would continue to rip-off the USA for $500 Billion a year,’ Trump said in a tweet Saturday.

‘The only problem is that they know I am going to win (best economy & employment numbers in U.S. history, & much more), and the deal will become far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term. Would be wise for them to act now, but love collecting BIG TARIFFS!’

Trump had accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments in trade talks and ordered new punitive duties, which took effect Friday, on $200billion worth of Chinese imports, raising them to 25 percent from 10 percent.

He then increased the heat by ordering a tariff hike on almost all remaining imports – $300billion worth, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer – from the world’s second-biggest economy.

Those tariffs would not take effect for months, after a period of public comment.

Trump also said on Saturday that firms could easily avoid additional costs by producing goods in the United States.

‘Such an easy way to avoid Tariffs? Make or produce your goods and products in the good old USA. It’s very simple!’ he tweeted, echoing a similar message he sent Friday – and even retweeted.

Trump also retweeted a tweet by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. McDaniel tweeted a video clip of an MSNBC interview with a business owner from Ohio who says that the tariffs on China has helped him

Trump also retweeted a tweet by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

McDaniel tweeted a video clip of an MSNBC interview with a business owner from Ohio who says that the tariffs on China has helped him. 

Only a week earlier, the United States and China had seemed poised to complete a sweeping agreement.

Washington wants Beijing to tighten its intellectual property protections, cut its subsidies to state-owned firms and reduce the yawning trade deficit; China wants an end to tariffs as part of a ‘balanced’ deal.

While supporters laud Trump as a tough negotiator, free-trade-minded Republicans have warned that the tariffs could do real damage to the economy, and many farmers – including Trump supporters – say the tariffs have hit their bottom line.

As the trade war spread, China imposed $110billion in duties on farm exports and other U.S. goods.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, from the farm state of Iowa, cautiously welcomed the new tariffs but urged negotiators to reach a quick solution ‘so we can avoid prolonged tariffs, which we know have an impact on the US economy.’

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Friday he was optimistic on reaching an agreement, but said there were ‘issues of principle’ on which China would not back down. 

‘Negotiations have not broken down,’ Liu, China’s chief negotiator in the talks, said, according to state television.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (left) bids farewell to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (center) and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (right) in Washington, DC, on Friday

‘Quite the opposite, I think small setbacks are normal and inevitable during the negotiations of both countries. Looking forward, we are still cautiously optimistic,’ Liu said.

China strongly opposes the latest U.S. tariff hike, and as a nation, has to respond to that, Liu told a small group of Chinese reporters in the video clip.

‘Right now, both sides have reached mutual understanding in many things, but frankly speaking, there are also differences. We think these differences are significant issues of principle,’ Liu said. 

‘We absolutely cannot make concessions on such issues of principle.’

He added that talks would continue in Beijing, but gave no details.

Three differences remain between the two countries, according to China’s account of the latest talks.

One of those is over tariffs, Liu said, according to a transcript of the Q&A published by Phoenix, a Hong Kong-based television station that is close to Beijing. 

China believes that tariffs were the genesis of the trade dispute, and that if both sides wanted to reach an agreement, then all tariffs must be eliminated, Liu said.

The second is about procurement, on which an initial consensus was reached between the leaders of the two countries in Argentina late last year. 

The two sides now have differing views on the volumes, Liu said. 

The third is over how balanced the text of the draft agreement should be, he said.

‘Every nation has its dignity, so the text ought to be balanced,’ Liu said.

President Trump ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China after talks on a new trade deal ended with no agreement

Sources told Reuters this week that China had deleted its commitments in the draft agreement that said it would change laws to resolve core complaints of the United States: theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

Liu denied the accusations of China’s reneging on promises, saying China thought it was normal to make changes before a final deal. 

Both sides had differing views on how to phrase it, he said.

Liu said he hoped this issue would be resolved, so it was unnecessary to ‘over react’ to that point.

Similar to Liu, Chinese state media said China would not give in on its core interests.

‘China clearly requires that the trade procurement figures should be realistic; the text must be balanced and expressed in terms that are acceptable to the Chinese people and do not undermine the sovereignty and dignity of the country,’ the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said in a commentary on Saturday.

The trade war has weighed on the Chinese economy.

When asked about domestic concerns on how the latest tariffs could further pressure the economy, Liu said he was optimistic about China’s economy in the longer term, adding that it had entered an up-cycle after bottoming out somewhat last year.

He said he believed the Chinese economy would maintain a stable and healthy trend despite some downward pressure, and that China had ample room for fiscal and monetary policy maneuvers.

On Monday, hours after Trump said he intended to raise tariffs, the Chinese central bank cut the amount of reserves that some small and medium-sized banks need to hold, freeing up more funds for lending to cash-strapped firms.     

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