WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his threat to impose tariffs on $267 billion worth of additional Chinese imports if China retaliates for the recent levies and other measures the United States has taken in the countries’ escalating trade war.
Trump, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, also said China is not ready to reach a deal on trade.
“China wants to make a deal, and I say they’re not ready yet,” Trump said. “I just say they’re not ready yet. And we’ve canceled a couple of meetings because I say they’re not ready to make a deal.”
When asked whether he was ready to levy new taxes in case of retaliation from China, Trump said, “sure, absolutely.”
He added that the current U.S. trade imbalance with China means “they’ve already retaliated.”
Last month Trump imposed tariffs on nearly $200 billion of Chinese imports and then threatened more levies if China retaliated. China then hit back with tariffs on about $60 billion of U.S. imports.
Citing the growing trade war, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019.