Trump Says US Not Ready to Make Trade Deal With China

By Cathy He, Epoch Times
May 27, 2019 Updated: May 27, 2019

President Donald Trump said the United States isn’t ready to make a trade deal with China, in remarks he made while on a state visit to Japan.

“I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 27.

“They would like to make a deal. We’re not ready to make a deal.”

Trump added that the administration was receiving tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods, which he threatened “could go up very, very substantially, very easily.”

Earlier in May, Trump increased tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, after accusing the Chinese regime of reneging on key commitments negotiated over months of trade talks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office has begun the process for enacting 25 percent on another $300 billion of Chinese imports.

The Chinese regime reportedly backtracked on a pledge to change its laws to address core U.S. concerns including theft of U.S. intellectual property, forced technology transfer, and currency manipulation.

The Trump administration’s demand for the Chinese regime to implement structural reforms, which propelled it to launch the trade war with China in March 2018, has been a sticking point during trade negotiations.

While in Japan, the U.S. president also said that as a result of U.S. tariffs, businesses are leaving China and moving to countries that don’t have tariffs, including parts of Asia and the United States. However, he was also optimistic that the two sides could eventually reach an agreement.

“I think sometime in the future, China and the United States will absolutely have a great trade deal,” Trump said.

On May 22, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also expressed hope about reaching a trade deal with Beijing. Appearing before a congressional hearing by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Mnuchin said that China had taken a “big step backwards.”

“Sometimes, you’ve got to go backwards before you go forward. So I’m still hopeful we can get back to the table.”

Since the recent deterioration of trade talks, the U.S. administration also blacklisted Chinese telecom giant Huawei on national security grounds, effectively banning it from doing business with U.S. companies.

For years, experts, U.S. officials, and lawmakers have been sounding the alarm that Huawei equipment could be used as a conduit for spying by Beijing, due to the company’s close ties to the Chinese military.

A raft of U.S. firms have since suspended business with the company, including Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Intel. Foreign companies have also followed suit, including UK-based chip designer ARM, German chipmaker Infineon Technologies, and Japanese parts supplier Toshiba.

The administration reportedly is also considering restrictions on as many as five other Chinese technology companies, on national security grounds.

Trump is set to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss trade at the G-20 summit in Japan in June.

Follow Cathy on Twitter: @CathyHe_ET