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Trump ready to slap more tariffs on China if no progress seen at G20

Reuters WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he was ready to impose another round of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports if he cannot make progress in trade talks with China’s president at a Group of 20 summit later this month.

Since two days of talks to resolve the U.S.-China trade dispute last month in Washington ended in a stalemate, Trump has repeatedly said he expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 summit in Osaka. China has not confirmed any such meeting.

Trump said last week he would decide after the meeting of the leaders of the world’s largest economies whether to carry out a threat to impose tariffs on at least $300 billion in Chinese goods.

In comments to reporters on Monday, Trump said he still thought the meeting with Xi would happen.

“We are scheduled to talk and to meet. I think interesting things will happen. Let’s see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The United States has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that China is open to more trade talks with Washington but has nothing to announce about a possible meeting.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing rose sharply in May after the Trump administration accused China of having reneged on promises to make structural economic changes during months of trade talks.

The United States is seeking sweeping changes, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets. It also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and better access for U.S. firms in Chinese markets.

On May 10, Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods up to 25 percent and took steps to levy duties on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with tariff hikes on a revised list of $60 billion in U.S. goods.

The U.S. government has also angered China by putting Huawei Technologies Co. on a blacklist that effectively bans U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.

China: Ready to respond firmly

BEIJING (Reuters) — China will respond firmly if the United States insists on escalating trade tensions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said further tariffs were ready to kick in if no deal was reached at June’s G20 summit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang again would not be drawn on confirming a Xi-Trump meeting at the G20, saying information would be released once it was available to the ministry.Speech

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