US President Donald Trump said substantial additional US tariffs would be placed on goods from China if there’s no progress on a trade deal after his planned meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 Summit in Japan.
“My Plan B with China is to take in billions and billions of dollars a month and we’ll do less and less business with them,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday (June 26) during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
The White House announced that his meeting with President Xi would take place at 11.30am on Saturday in Osaka.
Mr Trump has previously said he may decide to raise tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion (S$407 billion) of Chinese imports if he does not like what he hears from Mr Xi at this weekend’s summit in Osaka.
Asian stocks advanced on Thursday on optimism that Mr Trump and Mr Xi would reach a truce at their highly anticipated meeting.
The president’s latest remarks added an element of doubt to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comment earlier on Wednesday on CNBC that he is hopeful about US-China trade negotiations.
An alternate course as the trade talks resume may be that US suspends the next round of tariffs on the additional US$300 billion of Chinese imports, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
If the tariffs on the broader set of goods does go into effect, it could be at a 10 per cent rate rather than 25 per cent, Trump said in the television interview on Wednesday.
“My plan B’s maybe my plan A, my plan B is that if we don’t make a deal I will tariff, and maybe not at 25 per cent, but maybe at 10 per cent,” Mr Trump said in the interview on Wednesday.
Mr Trump criticised a range of trading partners in the interview, including Germany and Vietnam, which he called an “abuser” when responding to a question about companies relocating production from China to that country following US-imposed tariffs.