President Donald Trump pledged on Thursday to maintain tariffs on China until a trade deal is reached.
“Until a deal is reached, we’ll be taxing the Hell out of China,” Trump told a rally of supporters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Trump announced earlier on Thursday that the U.S. would extend tariffs to around $300 billion of Chinese goods not yet subject to new import duties. The announcement came just after a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about the trade talks the two officials had participated in with Chinese counterparts in Shanghai this week.
Trump had signaled days earlier that the talks, the first face-to-face meetings since negotiations fell apart in May, might not have made much progress when he tweeted harsh criticisms of China. Following the meeting, news reports said that China was taking a slow-motion approach to negotiations and may be stalling for time, perhaps hoping that they will be able to deal with a less aggressive Democratic president after the 2020 election.
“I think they want to try to make a deal with us but I’m not sure,” Trump said Thursday. “They want to wait. They’re praying. They would like to see a new president in a year and half so they can continue to rip off the United States like they’ve been doing for the last 25 years.”
Trump went on to say that China would prefer to have to negotiate with Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner.
“They would love to see a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden, who has no clue what the Hell he is doing,” Trump said.
Trump argued that Biden would sign any deal offered by the Chinese, even pantomiming Biden signing a trade deal.