Trump ramps up trade war, saying US will keep tariffs on China for a 'substantial period'

  • US President Donald Trump put further pressure on trade war talks with China after indicating that tariffs on goods wouldn’t be immediately lifted in the event of a deal.
  • Trump suggested that trade tariffs would continue for a “substantial period” to ensure that China kept its terms of the agreement.
  • Trade war talks are set to resume in Beijing next week.

Trade war tensions were exacerbated once again after President Donald Trump said that the US would leave more than $US250 billion of tariffs with China in place for a “substantial period.”

The president made the comments ahead of the resumption of trade talks in Beijing, led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, next week with high hopes of a deal by the end of April.

“We’re not talking about removing them, we’re talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time,” Trump said Wednesday, per CNN.“Because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal because they have had a lot of problems living by certain deals.”

The ongoing trade war dispute centres on more than $US250 billion in tariffs that the US is currently imposing on China which has had a major impact on both countries economies. Recent research suggested that the continuation of tariffs could wipe $US1 trillion off the US economy in the next decade.

Tariff removal is one of the key pillars of discussion as part of any trade war deal between the two countries, with China keen to see tariffs removed immediately with the US in favour of a more gradual pullback.

Trump had previously suggested that the two countries, the world’s largest economies, were close to a deal but has veered between positivity and hawkishness over the past year. US futures are pointing down despite Asian shares rising on the back of Federal Reserve’s revised projections for interest rates Wednesday.

Market tensions are high after a report from Rhodium Group and the US Chamber of Commerce on Friday indicated the US economy would take a $US1 trillion hit if tariffs were to increase. The economic researchers found that increased tariffs would batter US gross domestic product and hurt import and export costs, raising prices for US consumers as American goods become less competitive.

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