Trump warns China not to retaliate against US trade tariffs

President Trump warned China on Monday not to retaliate against the hike in tariffs he imposed last week, saying it would be “hurt very badly” if a deal is not reached to end a trade war between the two nations.

“I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries, Trump tweeted early Monday.

“Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!” he added.

On Friday, the Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, after charging that Beijing had backtracked on commitments it made earlier.

Washington has already hit $50 billion of additional Chinese goods with 25 percent duties.

In a series of additional tweets Monday, the president defended the tariffs.

“Their is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today. This has been proven recently when only 4 points were paid by the U.S., 21 points by China because China subsidizes product to such a large degree,” he wrote.

“Also, the Tariffs can be completely avoided if you by from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea). That’s Zero Tariffs. Many Tariffed companies will be leaving China for Vietnam and other such countries in Asia. That’s why China wants to make a deal so badly!” he continued.

“..There will be nobody left in China to do business with. Very bad for China, very good for USA! But China has taken so advantage of the U.S. for so many years, that they are way ahead (Our Presidents did not do the job). Therefore, China should not retaliate-will only get worse!” he said.

Trump also said the “unexpectedly good first quarter 3.2% GDP was greatly helped by Tariffs from China.”

The president’s tariffs tweetstorm comes a day after his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow acknowledged that US consumers and businesses pay the tariffs — though Trump himself insisted in an earlier tweet, incorrectly, that China pays.

On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Kudlow, “It’s US businesses and US consumers who pay, correct?”

“Yes, I don’t disagree with that,” Kudlow replied.

He added, “Both sides will pay,” but he stipulated that China “will suffer (economic) losses” from reduced exports to the US, not from paying the tariffs.

Kudlow said Trump and his Chinese counterpart could meet next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit to hash out their differences on trade.

On Monday, China warned that it will “never surrender to external pressure.”

“We are determined to have the ability to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing.

“We have said many times that imposing tariffs will not solve any problems,” Geng said, adding that China hoped the US will work with Beijing to reach a “mutually beneficial and win-win agreement.”

Last week, Beijing vowed last week to hit back with the “necessary countermeasures,” though it has yet to specify what they will look like.

With Post wires

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