On March 1st, the tariff on China goes to 25 percent, says Donald Trump

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Statement of the United States Regarding China Talks

For the last two days, high-ranking officials from the United States and China have engaged in intense and productive negotiations over the economic relationship between our two countries.  The United States appreciates the preparation, diligence, and professionalism shown throughout these meetings by Vice Premier Liu He and his team.

The talks covered a wide range of issues, including:  (1) the ways in which United States companies are pressured to transfer technology to Chinese companies; (2) the need for stronger protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in China; (3) the numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers faced by United States companies in China; (4) the harm resulting from China’s cyber-theft of United States commercial property; (5) how market-distorting forces, including subsidies and state-owned enterprises, can lead to excess capacity; (6) the need to remove market barriers and tariffs that limit United States sales of manufactured goods, services, and agriculture to China; and (7) the role of currencies in the United States–China trading relationship.  The two sides also discussed the need to reduce the enormous and growing trade deficit that the United States has with China.  The purchase of United States products by China from our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and businesses is a critical part of the negotiations.

The two sides showed a helpful willingness to engage on all major issues, and the negotiating sessions featured productive and technical discussions on how to resolve our differences.  The United States is particularly focused on reaching meaningful commitments on structural issues and deficit reduction.  Both parties have agreed that any resolution will be fully enforceable.

While progress has been made, much work remains to be done.  President Donald J. Trump has reiterated that the 90-day process agreed to in Buenos Aires represents a hard deadline, and that United States tariffs will increase unless the United States and China reach a satisfactory outcome by March 1, 2019.  The United States looks forward to further talks with China on these vital topics.

President Donald Trump’s Remarks on China at the Oval Office

China is having a very hard time.  They’re here now.  We’re going to be seeing them a little bit later.  We’re trying to work out a new trade deal with China.  I think it will happen.  Something will happen.  But it’s a very big deal.  It will be — if it does happen, it will be, by far, the largest trade deal ever made.

And we essentially didn’t have a trade deal with China.  We lost $500 billion with China, for many years, a year.  Anywhere from $300- to $500-, $505 billion a year was lost in our dealing with China.  And I have a very good relationship with President Xi, and I think we’ll sit down at the end — at the end of the negotiation by our representatives — and do something with respect to making a deal with China.  I think it has a very good chance of happening…

So China, as you know, has opened up because of us to the financial services industry, which is a big thing.  Nobody thought that was possible.  And they’ve opened up to financial services and things of the like.

But I just want to let everyone know we won’t have a deal if we don’t open it up to the farmers, and we won’t have a deal if they don’t open it up to our manufacturers, and just all of it.  And I think China is very prone to do this.  So we’re going to have a talk.  But we’ve already got financial services.  A big impact.  You have tremendous amounts of money.  Tremendous amounts of people.  It’s a whole different market, and a massive market.  I guess you could certainly say the biggest, or one of the biggest markets in the world, but maybe the biggest market in a certain way in the world….

Well, we’re going to — look, we’re going to go into everything.  You probably saw, this morning I put out a statement.  We’re going into everything.  This isn’t going to be a small deal with China.  This is either going to be a very big deal or it’s going to be a deal that we’ll just postpone for a little while.

But we’ve been dealing with China.  We’ve had a great relationship.  I have a great relationship with President Xi.  The relationship of my people to Chinese representatives has been very good.  They’re negotiating now.  They’ll be coming over here at about 4 o’clock, and we’ll be talking to, actually, one of the top leaders in China, as you know.

I think that probably the final deal will be made.  If it’s made, will be made between myself and President Xi.  But we’re certainly talking about theft.  We’re talking about every aspect of trade with a country.  And we’re talking about fentanyl, too.

As you know, most of the fentanyl — which is killing 80,000 Americans a year is — it comes through China.  And, in China, it was not criminalized.  And they’ve agreed to criminalize fentanyl and give it the maximum penalty.  The maximum penalty in China, if you’re selling drugs, is death; it’s the death penalty.  And they’ve agreed to do the death penalty for selling fentanyl.  And if it’s shipped to the United States, that would be a very severe penalty.

So I think that’s going to have a tremendous impact.  We put that one item into the trade deal — the fentanyl.  I think that’s a very important item to put in.  But they’ve agreed — they’ve agree, and agreed very readily — we really appreciate it — to criminalize the sale of fentanyl….

I can tell you, there’s — a lot of people are working.  What happens — we’re charging large tariffs to Chinese products that are coming in, which hurts China.  As you know — you saw the reports — out of the 25 points, we’re paying for four points out of the 25.  They’re paying for 21.  That’s a big difference.  I’ve always said that.

We’re taking in billions of dollars.  And, frankly, we’re creating a lot of industry.  But the rate goes from 10 percent to 25 percent on March 1st.  So they would like to do it, and I’d like to accommodate them.  If we can, I’d like to accommodate China if we can get the deal done.

It’s a lot of work because this is a very comprehensive deal.  This isn’t what we’re talking about, you know, they’re going to buy some corn and that’s going to be it.  No, they’re going to buy corn.  Hopefully, they’re going to buy lots of corn, and lots of wheat, and lots of everything else that we have.  But they’re also talking heavy technology, heavy manufacturing, financial services, and everything else….

I think we can do it by March 1st.  Can you get it down on paper by March 1st?  I don’t know.  I can say, on March 1st, the tariff on China goes to 25 percent, and that’s a big tariff.

So I want to do real things, like the deal with China.  I want it to be a real deal.  I could do a deal with China, where people would say, “Isn’t that wonderful?”  It’s not wonderful.  I have to do the real deal.  We have to open up China.  We’re open to them.  They have to be open to us.

So, it would be so easy for me to make a deal with China, but it wouldn’t be a real deal.  I could get them to buy more corn than they’ve ever bought, and more soybeans than they’ve ever bought.  And they’d be so happy if I did that.  But they’re going to do that, but in even higher numbers.  But we’re going to do a lot of other things.

And just remember, we are taking in billions and billions of dollars from China.  We never took in 10 cents from China.  China is being charged tremendous amounts of money for the privilege of coming in and doing what they do to our country.  They’re being charged a tremendous amount of money.  And we’re going to make a deal.  I think we’re going to make a deal with China, but it’s going to be a very comprehensive deal.  We’re going to cover everything….

The White House
Washington DC.

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