US President Donald Trump has said that it was “highly unlikely” he would accept an offer by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping aimed at averting Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on over $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent in January 2019.
Trump in a Wall Street Journal interview published on Monday, also warned once again that he was poised to slap a third round of tariffs on Chinese goods if the two leaders fail to broker an end to the trade rift when they meet later this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, CNN reported.
“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” said Trump in the interview, adding the tariff level could either be 10 or 25 per cent.
Trump said in the interview that could include tariffs on Apple products imported from China, including iPhones and laptops.
Apple’s stock fell 1.5 per cent in after-hours trading, erasing earlier gains from the day.
“Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” the President said. “I mean, I can make it 10 per cent, and people could stand that very easily.”
The tariffs have drawn complaints from American businesses, who are responsible for paying the import duties.
It’s also spurred concerns about renewed inflation, just as the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates in December.
More than 100 S&P companies have already pre-emptively telegraphed during the third quarter earnings calls the damage further tariffs would impose on the US economy, CNN said.
Multiple companies including Walmart, the country’s biggest retailer, have warned that prices on everyday goods like shampoo, detergents and paper goods will get more expensive for consumers.
In the lead-up to this weekend’s leaders meeting, Trump aides have continuously warned Beijing negotiators that threats by the President should be taken seriously.
Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this month that Trump wasn’t in any rush to end the trade war and was willing to “more than double” the tariffs it has already placed on $250 billion in Chinese goods.