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Trump hopes for 'great deal' with China, also threatens more tariffs

This article is more than 12 months old

But he says China is not ready for it, and will impose more tariffs if deal not reached

SHANGHAI : US President Donald Trump thinks there will be "a great deal" with China on trade but warned that he has billions of dollars worth of new tariffs ready to go if a deal is not possible.

"I think we will make a great deal with China and it has to be great, because they have drained our country," Mr Trump told Fox News Channel's The Ingraham Angle on Monday.

He said he would like to make a deal now, but that China was not ready. He did not elaborate.

Bloomberg news reported on Monday that Washington was preparing to announce tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if talks next month between Mr Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Xi are expected to attend next month's G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where they could meet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China and the US have been in communication about exchanges at all levels, including a possible Xi-Trump meeting in Argentina, though he gave no details.

If the US is not willing to promote win-win cooperation with China, then China is fully confident in being able to continue with its reforms and develop itself, Mr Lu added.

The US has already imposed tariffs on US$250 billion (S$346 billion) worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on US$110 billion worth of US goods.

"And I have US$267 billion waiting to go if we can't make a deal," Mr Trump said.

He has long threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports into the US if Beijing fails to meet US demands for sweeping changes to Chinese trade, technology transfer and industrial subsidy policies.

In another development, China's yuan fell to a fresh 10-year low against the dollar yesterday, pressured by worries about slowing economic growth and a potential sharp escalation in the Sino-US trade war.

The onshore yuan ended domestic trading at 6.9613 per dollar, the weakest such close since May 20, 2008.

The Chinese currency has lost more than 6.5 per cent of its value to the dollar since the beginning of this year, and is down 10 per cent since March, when the first set of tit-for-tat tariffs in the US-Sino trade war were announced. - REUTERS

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