UPDATED 6:32 AM PT — Monday, May 6, 2019
President Trump announced the U.S. and China are nearing a mutually beneficial trade agreement amid efforts to speed-up negotiations. In a tweet Sunday, the president defended the tariffs placed on billions of dollars worth of Chinese exports as he announced additional hikes.
….of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019
Intense trade talks have been ongoing since President Trump signed a truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in December.
While speaking from the White House on Friday, the president reaffirmed the necessity of those tariffs.
“We’ll see what happens over the next couple of weeks, but we’re getting close to a very historic monumental deal and if it doesn’t happen we’ll be fine too, maybe even better,” he stated. “Well the tariffs have been a necessary thing for me to do…we’re losing $181 billion dollars a year, we have been for many years.”
The 10-percent tax on some $200 billion of non-tech-related goods will now go up to 25-percent. Further, $25 billion of other untaxed Chinese imports will also begin seeing the same percentage increase.
Vice President Mike Pence recently said the two leaders maintain a positive relationship, but said President Trump is focused on securing a good deal for the U.S.
“They’re half of our international trade deficit, and forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft are a reality,” he stated. “President Trump has made it clear that things have to change with China on the structural issues as well as the trade and balance, and we’ll continue to stand firm on those.”
Meanwhile, President Xi has yet to issue a statement in response to these latest tariffs, which are set to begin later this week.