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Trump threatens to hike China tariffs if no G20 progress


US president Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US president Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


US president Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump says substantial additional US tariffs would be placed on goods from China if there's no progress on a trade deal after his planned meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 Summit in Japan.

"My Plan B with China is to take in billions and billions of dollars a month and we'll do less and less business with them," Trump said yesterday on the Fox TV news network.

Mr Trump previously has said he may decide to raise tariffs on the remaining $300bn of Chinese imports not yet subject to tariffs - including mobile phones and laptop computers - if he doesn't like what he hears from Xi at this weekend's summit in Osaka. The leaders are expected to meet on Saturday and financial markets will be watching carefully.

The president's latest remarks added an element of doubt to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's earlier comment on CNBC that he's hopeful about US-China trade negotiations.

"My plan B is that if we don't make a deal I will tariff, and maybe not at 25pc but maybe at 10pc," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump criticised a range of trading partners, including Germany and Vietnam, which he called an "abuser" when responding to a question about companies relocating from China to Vietnam to avoid US-imposed tariffs.

Trump said he likes China and Xi but added: "They have taken advantage of us for so long. They devalue their currency like a ping-pong ball."