US tariffs on Chinese imports to stay for ‘substantial period of time’

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday stated that tariffs on Chinese imports will remain in place for a “substantial period of time”.

“We’re talking about leaving (the tariffs) for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House here.

Trump’s remarks come in the wake of US’ chief trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer’s impending visit to Beijing next week to hold talks regarding the finalisation of a trade deal, South China Morning Post reported.

The US has imposed tariffs ranging from 10 to 25 per cent on Chinese imports in a trade dispute which started last year. As a retaliatory move, China imposed duties on US imports amounting to USD 110 billion.

Trump met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of last year’s G-20 summit in Argentina, where the two countries agreed to temporarily halt the dispute and undertake negotiations to resolve trade issues.

Both USA and China have met for multiple rounds of talks ever since, with the US President delaying fresh tariffs on Chinese imports, previously scheduled to come into effect from March 1, in the wake of “fruitful talks” between the two countries.

Washington and Beijing now hope to reach a final trade deal during the late-April summit at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to officials in the US administration.