Trump says no need to rush on China talks

US President Donald Trump said he was in “absolutely no rush” to finalise a trade agreement with China, hours after the US more than doubled tariffs on many Chinese products.

He said bilateral talks, which wrapped up today, had continued in a very “congenial” way.

The US action, a sharp escalation of the countries’ damaging trade war, took tariffs on affected Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

China said it would retaliate.

It said it “deeply regrets” the move and would have to take “necessary counter-measures”.

Only recently, the US and China appeared to be close to ending months of trade tensions.

 

The US has raised tariffs on $200bn (£153.7bn) worth of Chinese imports, while Mr Trump said a process had begun to place the full 25% tariff on a further $325bn of Chinese goods.

The $100bn of tariffs taken in would be used to buy US agricultural goods, which would then be used for “humanitarian assistance”, President Trump tweeted.

Critics pointed out on Twitter that it is not China who will pay the taxes, but US importers, and ultimately its consumers.

China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed the latest US tariff increase on its website.

“It is hoped that the US and the Chinese sides will work together… to resolve existing problems through co-operation and consultation,” it said in a statement.