World

Trump has no deadline to more China tariffs, calls ties ‘testy’

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump declined to set a deadline on Wednesday for levying tariffs on another US$325 billion (S$444 billion) of Chinese goods and called the relationship with Beijing good but "testy" after China walked back commitments for a trade deal.

Mr Trump, who said he still plans to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month, has repeatedly threatened to escalate the trade war by putting tariffs on nearly all of the remaining Chinese imports that are not already affected by US levies, which include products such as cell phones, computers and clothing.

Asked if he had a deadline for China to make progress towards a deal before facing the further penalty, Mr Trump said no.

"I have no deadline," he told a news conference, gesturing to his head. "My deadline is what's up here. We'll figure out the deadline. Nobody can quite figure it out."

Mr Trump has said previously he would decide after the G-20 meeting in Japan this month whether to carry out his threat.

Washington has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods, ranging from semi-conductors to furniture, that are imported into the US.

Mr Trump reiterated his belief that manufacturers were pulling out of China under pressure from the tariffs that the US has already imposed, in a boon to US manufacturing.

'GOOD RELATIONSHIP'

"I think that we'll end up making a deal with China. We have a very good relationship, although it's a little bit testy right now, as you would expect. I think they really have to make a deal."

Though Mr Trump has said he plans to meet Mr Xi at the G-20 summit, Beijing has not confirmed any planned talks.

Trade talks between the world's two largest economies fell apart in May.

Trump administration officials said China had watered down commitments it made on issues such as stopping intellectual property theft.

"We thought we had a deal, and unfortunately they decided that they were going to change the deal, and they can't do that with me. But something's going to happen and I think it's going to be something very positive," Mr Trump said.

The US wants China to change its trade practices by not requiring US companies to share their technology to do business there, curbing subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and increasing access to Chinese markets. - REUTERS

WORLD