Trump Says He Would Be Happy to Keep Tariffs on Chinese Imports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
A U.S. flag flutters in front of a portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen gate during the visit by President Donald Trump to Beijing, China, in 2017. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj/File Photo)

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be happy to keep tariffs on Chinese imports in place, adding that China is mistaken if it hopes to negotiate trade later with a Democratic presidential administration.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

“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.

The United States announced on Wednesday it would hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent effective Friday, according to a notice posted on the Federal Register.

Sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters that China has sought to alter previously agreed provisions specifying changes to Chinese laws affecting nearly every chapter of a nearly 150-page proposed trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

The changes sought by China would create major hurdles in reaching a deal in two days of talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He this week before the tariff increase goes into effect.