By Michelle Price and Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that China would take down its trade barriers and that the two countries would reach a deal on intellectual property.
On Thursday, Trump directed U.S. trade officials to identify tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese imports, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world’s two largest economies.
The further tariffs were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against earlier U.S. trade actions, which included a proposed $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump said in a White House statement on Thursday.
In his tweet on Sunday, Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would always be friends despite the dispute, adding: “China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become reciprocal and a deal will be made on intellectual property. Great future for both countries!”
On Tuesday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) had proposed 25 percent tariffs on more than 1,300 Chinese industrial and other products from flat-panel televisions to electronic components. China shot back 11 hours later with a list of proposed duties on $50 billion of American imports, including soybeans, aircraft, cars, beef and chemicals.
The President did not provide a reason for the statement or say whether China had indicated it planned to drop its tariffs. .
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Michelle Price; Editing by Susan Fenton and James Dalgleish)