China trade deal likely despite calls for tariffs on goods: Trump | 2019-03-24 |

China trade deal likely despite calls for tariffs on goods: Trump

24 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were progressing and a final agreement "will probably happen," adding that his call for tariffs to remain on Chinese imported goods for some time did not mean talks were in trouble.

Mr Trump, in a television interview aired on Friday, also said he expected to keep a 25 per cent tariff on European light trucks amid separate ongoing trade talks with the European Union, but that companies could avoid it by building factories in the United States, report agencies.

The Trump administration is engaged in ongoing trade talks with both the European Union and China as part of the Republican president's "America First" agenda. Top US officials are headed to Beijing in coming days, with a summit possible between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to seal any final deal.

"The European Union ... frankly, treats us as badly as China," Mr Trump told Fox Business Network.

"Our deal is coming along very well. We'll see what happens," Mr Trump said regarding China. "I think the deal will probably happen. I think they need it very badly."

Asked about his remarks earlier this week about US tariffs on Chinese goods staying in place for a period of time and whether that meant there was a snag in the negotiations, Mr Trump said, "No, not at all."

Mr Trump then segued to the European auto sector, including trucks. "We get a 25 per cent tariff on that segment - that's our best segment by far. And yes, we will absolutely be able to keep it - not only keep it going, I really think we have tremendous potential," he told the network in the interview, which was taped on Thursday.

"I’ll tell you what the end game is. They’ll build their plants in the United States and they have no tariffs," Mr Trump added. Then, asked if he would agree to zero tariffs, he said: "I would do it for certain products, but I wouldn’t do it for cars."

Shares of German automaker Daimler jumped briefly after the interview.