U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 4, in a series of Twitter posts, threatened to slap a range of import penalties on Chinese products if they did not make major changes in their economic relationship with the United States.

“President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will,” Trump wrote. “But if not remember, I am a Tariff man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power.”

He says tariffs “will always be the best way to max out our economic power.”

Trump held out the possibility of an extension of the 90-day trade truce with China but made clear he would revert to tariffs if the two sides could not resolve their differences.

“The negotiations with China have already started. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina,” Trump said on Twitter.

He continued to give a warning: “We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all – at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States.”

Trump and Xi on Saturday agreed to the ceasefire in a trade war that has seen the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two largest economies disrupted by tariffs.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday that a reduction in Chinese tariffs on U.S. cars and agricultural and energy commodities would be a “litmus test” for whether U.S.-China trade talks are on track to succeed.

The United States also expects China to promptly address structural issues including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, U.S. officials have said.

Trump has argued that China for decades has abused global trade rules to lure away U.S. jobs, steal U.S. intellectual property, subsidize its own companies, and strong-arm U.S. firms.

Many Democrats and Republicans, as well as global leaders, have agreed with Trump’s assessment, and he has taken an adversarial approach with Beijing, saying he believes this is the only way to force changes.

As part of the talks Saturday night, Trump agreed not to increase existing tariffs on Chinese goods or impose any new ones for 90 days, while talks took place.

Global investors, who had feared for months that a protracted trade war could hurt economic growth, seemed to cheer the cease-fire on Monday, but U.S. markets slid back on Tuesday as it became clear that there were few concrete commitments that came out of the discussions so far.

“Let the negotiations begin,” Trump wrote Tuesday. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Source: AP, NDTV, The Epoch Times

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