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Trump says he will proceed with Chinese tariff escalation – POLITICO

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“The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States,” President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal. | Thomas Peter, Pool/Getty Images

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President Donald Trump said he expects to move forward with plans to escalate tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as of Jan. 1, even as he readies to meet with the nation’s leader at the end of the week.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said it was “highly unlikely” that he would accept a request by China to stand down from his plans to ratchet up tariffs on the $200 billion list from 10 percent to 25 percent. The tariff increase is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1. The White House has already put a 25 percent tariff on a separate list of Chinese imports valued at more than $50 billion.

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Trump said that if his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires later this week doesn’t result in a deal, then he will slaps tariffs of 10 percent to 25 percent on all remaining imported goods from China.

The U.S. bought more than $522 billion worth of goods from China in 2017, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Trump has targeted China over allegations of intellectual property theft and accusations that Beijing forces companies to hand over technology to do business.

The administration released a report last March outlining how China has engaged in unfair trading practices aimed at boosting its high-tech sectors. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer published an updated report last week describing how Beijing has failed to resolve the issues that have justified U.S. tariffs.

“The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States,” Trump told the Journal. “As far as other countries are concerned, that’s up to them.”

Trump also said that additional tariffs could hit consumer items like Apple iPhones and laptops but played down the effects of such actions. “I mean, I can make it 10 percent, and people could stand that very easily,” he said.

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