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Trade deal now or it will be 'far worse' after 2020: Trump warns China

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

AFP  |  Washington 

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters

warned on Saturday that it should strike a trade deal with the now, otherwise an agreement would be "far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term".

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

Two days of talks ended Friday with no deal. China's top said the two sides would meet again in at an unspecified date, but warned that would make no concessions on "important principles."

"I think that 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 & 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 of reneging on its commitments in trade talks and ordered new punitive duties, which took effect Friday, on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, raising them to 25 percent from 10 percent.

He then cranked up the heat further, ordering a hike on almost all remaining imports -- $300 billion worth, according to Trade -- from the world's second-biggest

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

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

"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.

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

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 $110 billion in duties on farm exports and other 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 economy.

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 08:05 IST
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