Trump Says Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Imports May Remain

Washington, DC, March 25, 2019--President Donald Trump is taking a tougher tone ahead of trade negotiations with China, reports the New York Times in an article by Ana Swanson. 

“President Donald Trump said the United States would keep tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in place even if the two sides reached a trade deal, channeling a tougher approach as his negotiators head to Beijing this weekend for a crucial round of talks.

“Trump's remarks, made in a television interview that aired Friday, are likely to unsettle Chinese negotiators, whose main goal in the talks is to convince the United States to remove as many of the $250 billion worth of tariffs that have been imposed.

“While Trump had agreed late last month not to raise tariffs on Chinese goods, the administration is coalescing around the need to retain at least some of the tariffs as it looks for a way to ensure that China keeps whatever promises it makes in a trade agreement.

“Robert Lighthizer, Trump's top trade adviser, prefers to phase out many of the tariffs over time as China proves its willingness to follow through with economic changes sought by the Trump administration, people familiar with his thinking say. But it is unclear whether China will make enough concessions to satisfy the United States if the tariffs remain in effect.

“The two sides are now pushing for a summit in late April to sign a trade deal.”