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Trump says U.S. may not impose more tariffs on China

Published 11/16/2018, 03:01 PM
Updated 11/16/2018, 03:01 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Trump talks to reporters at Cybersecurity and Infrastructure signing ceremony in Oval Office of White House in Washington

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he may not impose more tariffs on Chinese goods after Beijing sent the United States a list of measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions, although he added it was unacceptable that some major items were omitted from the list.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to force concessions from Beijing on the list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two countries. China has responded with import tariffs on U.S. goods.

Washington is demanding Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for U.S. companies, cut industrial subsidies and slash a $375 billion trade gap.

The relationship between the two countries has deteriorated in recent months, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said China needed to change its behavior to avoid a new cold war with the United States.

The U.S. tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese goods is set to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on Jan. 1. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports - about $267 billion more in goods - if Beijing fails to address U.S. demands.

"We may not have to do that," Trump told reporters at the White House. "China would like to make a deal.

But Trump added that there were "four or five big things left off" the list of 142 items sent by China.

"They sent a list of things that they're willing to do, which is a large list, and it's just not acceptable to me yet." he said. He did not detail the omitted items.

Trump said, however, he was confident the missing items would be addressed in any deal struck with China.

"I think we'll probably get them too," he said.

Trump's softening line on tariffs gave a modest lift to stocks.

Trump is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina later this month.

Officials have played down the probability that the two will make a deal to end their trade war at the meeting. One source briefed on the offer said it was just a "rehash" of previous offers China had made.

But if Trump holds fire on further tariffs, the Chinese offer may have contained enough for Washington to engage fully in negotiations for a deal.

The United States had said it would not restart negotiations on a trade deal until it saw a concrete response to China on its demands, although informal talks between the two on trade restarted earlier this month after Trump and Xi talked via telephone.

Reuters reported this week that China sent the written response to U.S. demands on Monday, ending a months-long wait.

The Chinese document included 142 items divided into three categories: issues China was willing to negotiate for further action, issues it was already working on and issues considered off limits, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.

Trump's team of economic advisers have voiced conflicting views on doing a deal with China. Some, such trade adviser as Peter Navarro, advocate taking a hard line on trade until China makes deep economic forms.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Trump talks to reporters at Cybersecurity and Infrastructure signing ceremony in Oval Office of White House in Washington

Others, such as economic adviser Larry Kudlow, want to see reforms but have pressed for a deal to avoid further disruption to trade between the world's two largest economies.

Latest comments

The bafoon is backtracking because Wall St was going down the sink
Yup. Pay no attention to the strong economy, lowest unemployment in 50 years and strong growth. We should go back to the Obama years of high taxes, over regulation and slowest post-recession growth in history. And btw, it’s “buffoon”.
 If you think the perma-tanned 'bafoon', in a mere 20 months, is responsible for all the things you listed, then you will forever stay a small trader.
Su0026P already back to pre-trump bump. So much for all that hype this reality star is all about
And in other fake news....
Hahaha! Excellent! :)
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