President Donald Trump, in an extensive series of tweets, said early Friday that that there "is absolutely no need to rush" in talks with China, which are continuing in a "very congenial manner."
His Twitter blizzard — which went through multiple revisions — came as Beijing said it plans to retaliate over the U.S. tariff hike that raises duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.
IThe president outlined the plans for the money from the tariffs, saying the payments will go to the U.S. Treasury, and that the process has begun to place additional tariffs of 25% on the remaining $325 billion.
"The U.S. only sells China approximately 100 Billion Dollars of goods & products, a very big imbalance," said Trump. "With the over 100 Billion Dollars in Tariffs that we take in, we will buy agricultural products from our Great Farmers, in larger amounts than China ever did, and ship it to poor & starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance."
He also said the tariffs would bring in "far more" wealth than a more traditional deal, and that they are "easier & quicker to do."
"We have lost 500 Billion Dollars a year, for many years, on Crazy Trade with China," he continued. "NO MORE!"
He he used his rant as an opportunity to take a shot at Democrat rival Joe Biden:
"Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker. Just sit back and watch! In the meantime, China should not renegotiate deals with the U.S. at the last minute. This is not the Obama Administration, or the Administration of Sleepy Joe, who let China get away with 'murder!'"
And he urged companies to bring their manufacturing to the U.S. to avoid tariffs.
The tariffs went into effect just hours before U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a second day of talks in Washington. The session ended after about 90 minutes.
“They were constructive discussions,” Mnuchin told reporters as he left Lighthizer’s offices near midday. Mnuchin said the negotiations were done for the day, CNBC reported.
Late Friday, Trump said that trade talks between the United States and China would continue into the future and U.S. tariffs may or may not be removed, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.
Trump’s message, sent in a tweet, sent a signal to financial markets that, despite a significant setback between the two sides in the last week, talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday had not led to a complete breakdown.
“Over the course of the past two days, the United States and China have held candid and constructive conversations on the status of the trade relationship between both countries,” Trump said in the tweet, praising his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and saying talks would carry on.
“In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!” Trump tweeted.
Liu, the lead Chinese negotiator, told reporters at his hotel in Washington that the talks had gone “fairly well,” Bloomberg reported.
The two sides have agreed to meet again in Beijing in the future, the editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times newspaper said in a tweet, citing what he described as an “authoritative source.”
Following the U.S. tariff hike, China’s Commerce Ministry said it would take countermeasures but did not elaborate.
China’s central bank said it was fully able to cope with any external uncertainty.
China responded to Trump’s tariffs last year with levies on a range of U.S. goods including soybeans and pork, which has hurt U.S. farmers at a time when their debt has spiked to the highest level in decades.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday that Trump had asked him to create a plan to support the farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture already has rolled out up to $12 billion to help offset farmers’ China-related losses.
Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.