US Would be Happy to Leave China Tariffs in Place, Trump Says

By Cathy He, Epoch Times
May 8, 2019 Updated: May 8, 2019

Ahead of upcoming trade talks with China, U.S. President Donald Trump said on May 8 that he would be happy to leave import tariffs on China in place.

He also said any hope by the Chinese regime to renegotiate a future trade deal with a Democratic presidential administration would go unfulfilled.

“The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to “negotiate” with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

“Guess what, that’s not going to happen! China has just informed us that they (Vice-Premier) are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers,” he added.

In a surprise announcement on May 5, Trump tweeted that after slow progress on talks, he would increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent beginning May 10, and impose duties “shortly” on $325 billion of currently untaxed Chinese goods.

A notice posted to the Federal Register on May 8 confirmed that this tariff increase will take effect from May 10. The notice also said the U.S. Trade Representative’s office will establish a process to seek exclusions for certain products from additional tariffs.

Lead U.S. negotiator Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer hinted at the reason behind the tariff increase, telling reporters on May 6 that China was “reneging on prior commitments” after 10 rounds of talks.

Reuters has since reported on May 8, citing government and private sector sources, that Beijing backtracked on its commitments to change its laws to address core U.S. concerns, including theft of U.S. intellectual property, forced technology transfers, and currency manipulation.

The reversal affected every chapter of the nearly 150-page draft agreement that was being negotiated over months of bilateral talks, Reuters reported.

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

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is due to arrive in Washington D.C. on May 9 for two days of talks.

Follow Cathy on Twitter: @CathyHe_ET