US President Donald Trump has reportedly given China a one-month ultimatum to seal a trade deal or face tariffs on all its exports to the United States.
The decision was relayed by people with knowledge of the talks between the two sides on Friday, hours after the Trump administration raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25.
Even though, the US president hailed the talks with the Chinese delegation as “candid and constructive” in a series of tweets.
“The relationship between President Xi Jinping and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations into the future will continue.”
However, in a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US officials laid out their bottom line and informed him that Beijing had three or four weeks to agree to a deal or face additional 25 percent tariffs on a further $325 billion in exports to the US, according to people familiar with the talks.
“For the interest of the people of China, the people of US and the people of the whole world, we will deal with this rationally,” Liu said in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Friday.
“But China is not afraid, nor are the Chinese people. China needs a cooperative agreement with equality and dignity.”
The Chinese vice premier had earlier stated that the prospects for the talks were “promising,” but warned that raising tariffs would be “harmful to both sides.”
In several tweets later on Friday, Trump sought to justify his decision to hike tariffs as well as to convince businesses and financial markets that he had no plans to walk away from a deal with China.
The Chinese commerce ministry, however, lamented the US move on Friday and reiterated Beijing’s pledge to take “necessary countermeasures.”