President Donald Trump on Friday said he was not ready to make a trade deal with China, and a planned September talk between White House officials and Beijing could be called off.
“We are talking to China. We are not ready to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “They want to make a deal. I’m not ready to make a deal,” according to The Hill.
“We’ll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that’s fine. If we don’t, that’s fine,” he added.
The president announced last week that the administration would go ahead with new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, on top of existing tariffs of $250 billion worth of goods, following a meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials in which no progress was made.
China responded by weakening its currency and blocking purchases of U.S. agricultural goods.
President Trump asserted that imposing new tariffs on Chinese goods does not impact American taxpayers.
“The American taxpayer’s not paying for it. What China’s doing is by depressing their currency and by pouring tremendous amounts of money into their system, they’re paying for it,” he said.
President Trump: “The American taxpayer’s not paying for it. What China’s doing is by depressing their currency and by pouring tremendous amounts of money into their system, they’re paying for it.” pic.twitter.com/yeXQqXLCVO
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2019
President Trump accused China of “currency manipulation” and a “major violation” after it devalued the yuan below the psychological level of 7 units per U.S. dollar for the first time in more than a decade.
“China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low,” the president tweeted. “It’s called ‘currency manipulation.’ Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation, which will greatly weaken China over time!”
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on Thursday, described China as a “thuggish regime” for revealing the photographs and personal details of a U.S. diplomat who met with prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.