Trump hints at possible compromise in Chinese tariffs

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President Trump hinted Friday at a possible compromise in the upcoming trade talks with China: leaving in place tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods but negotiating on the remaining $200 billion worth of goods currently subject to tariffs.

“If you look at technology and the first $50 billion of goods, we want to keep that because we need that,” Trump told Fox Business in a Friday interview. The president was responding to a question about comments he made earlier in the week in which he indicated that the administration would not lift tariffs China even if they reached a trade deal.

The Trump administration last year first placed a 25 percent tariff on $16 billion worth of goods from China. It then followed that with 25 percent tariffs on another $34 billion worth of goods. The administration then put tariffs of 10 percent on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The first two tranches covered machinery and electronics, information and communications technology mainly, while the third tranche included agriculture items, chemicals, leather, plywood, paper, and textiles, among other goods.

Trump’s Friday comments raised the prospect that the administration could keep the tariffs on the first two batches of Chinese goods that it hit with levies. Trump didn’t reference the third $200 billion batch of goods as being among the tariffs he would keep. – read more

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