The massive tariffs imposed by America on import of products from China has badly hit the economy of the Asian nation, President Donald Trump said on Sunday, 3 February, with the clock ticking on a 1 March US-set deadline for Beijing to address trade concerns and avert an escalation in the tariff war between the world's two largest economies.
The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other's goods.
Last year, Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods. The move prompted China to increase tariffs on USD 110 billion of American goods. During a meeting in Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, Trump and Xi agreed to halt any further tariff increases for 90 days beginning 1 January.
"We have put massive tariffs on China...it is hurting China's economy very badly. I want them to make a fair deal," Trump told CBS News.
If no resolution is reached by the 1 March deadline, tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods are set to increase from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, a prospect that has rattled the global market because of the inevitable economic damage.
China has offered to hike its US goods purchases to reduce the bilateral trade deficit and also offered to discuss regulatory changes to improve market access for international investors.However, it has been reluctant to reduce its chances of competing with America on innovation and advanced technologies and doubts remain about its willingness to cede much ground.
Trump said he is hopeful of making a deal with China.
"It looks like we are doing very well with making a deal with China...no two leaders of this country and China have ever been closer than I am with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping). We have a good chance to make a deal...it's going to be a real deal...not going to be a stopgap (arrangement)," he said.