Trump’s ‘economic illiteracy’ caused the US-China trade war, says professor

Patrick T. Fallon  Bloomberg News

Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg News

The United States will continue to impose additional import tariff on Chinese products till the time a trade deal is reached with the country, President Donald Trump has said.

Taiwan has become one of the most sensitive issues fueling the US-China spat since US President Donald Trump signaled his support of Taiwan's president and deepened ties with the island via the Taiwan Travel Act legislation, passed a year ago.

A summit to ink a trade deal between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump will not occur by March end as planned as more work is needed in negotiations, US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin recently said.

Trump's comments on Wednesday suggesting a "substantial" extension of tariffs were met with dismay by USA retail industry figures who have lobbied for the removal of import taxes, which recent studies show have a far greater impact on U.S. consumers than Chinese exporters.

No fresh face-to-face meetings have been scheduled in the negotiations since Trump delayed a threatened March 1 tariff hike on Chinese goods following a late February round of talks.

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The Trump administration is engaged in ongoing trade talks with both the European Union and China as part of the Republican president's "America First" agenda. "We're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal, China lives by it".

Elsewhere on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut its growth forecasts for the U.S. and Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters the global economy had begun to slow, notably in China, where tariffs were one obstacle to faster growth. "They'll build their plants in the United States and they have no tariffs", Trump added. "We'll see what happens", Trump said regarding China.

"They have BMW, they have Mercedes, they have a lot of very good cars that come in", Trump said of Germany. Pressed on whether the talks have hit a snag, he said they hadn't: "No, not at all". "That doesn't mean we get there, but I think we're getting very close".

Separately, Trump also told Fox that if USA lawmakers do not pass his new deal to supersede the North American Free Trade Agreement trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, he might "go pre-NAFTA" but gave no other details.

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