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1 year ago
From scmp

Donald Trump warns China to reach a trade deal now, or face a 'far worse' one if I get re-elected

US President Donald Trump has accused China of playing for time in trade talks and warned he will offer a “far worse” deal if he wins next year’s presidential election. Trump was speaking after a lacklustre round of talks in Washington following his decision to escalate the trade war by raising tariffs on Chinese goods. “I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, adding that China hoped to “get lucky” with a win from a Democratic in the 2020 presidential election. “Would be wise for [China] to act now, but love collecting BIG TARIFFS,” he said.

On Friday the US raised tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. When he announced plans for the tariff hike last Monday, Trump complained that trade talks had moved too slowly, and said China had been trying to renegotiate previously agreed positions. Tong Jiadong, a professor of international trade at Nankai University in Tianjin, said the trade war was a “double-edged sword” for the US. “China is becoming increasingly less dependent on the US for strategic products,” said Tong. “Domestically, the confidence of US businesses and citizens [in the trade war] is limited.” Some Democratic presidential candidates, such as former vice-president Joe Biden, have showed a more dovish attitude toward China.

Earlier this month Biden said China was “not competition for us”. He told a crowd of supporters in Iowa, a key state on the campaign trail: “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.” But his remarks drew criticism from other potential Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders, who said it was “wrong to pretend” China was not a major competitor to the US. Trump also lashed out at Biden, saying his comments were the reason China had changed its stance in the trade talks, hoping they could negotiate with “Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats,” he tweeted on Tuesday. Top US policymakers and businesspeople involved in trade talks told Reuters that the talks had soured after China reneged on many of its promises to meet US demands on key issues, such as the protection of intellectual property rights.

 
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