Trump To Slap Added Tariffs If Xi Won't Meet Him At G20 Summit

US China Trade War
G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires (Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

During a telephone interview with reporters, US President Donald Trump stated that a failure by Chinese President Xi Jinping in attending the upcoming G20 summit in Japan would result in additional tariffs.

The tariffs would affect another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods being exported to the United States from China. This is on top of the already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump and Xi are expected to meet once again at the summit of world leaders in Japan, scheduled to take place on June 28 and 29. Both leaders are reportedly going to be discussing the escalating trade war between their respective nations. So far, no reports have been made that indicates that Xi is trying to avoid meeting Trump at the summit. There are also no public indications that the Chinese president intends to be absent during the event.

Trump revealed his intentions when a reporter had asked him if Xi's absence would result in added tariffs. The US president simply replied that Xi's absence would definitely lead to more tariffs. Following Trump's threat, China's Foreign Ministry released a statement in response.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated that China has never wanted a trade war with the United States, but it is willing to fight it if that is what the United States wants. Geng also mentioned that China's doors are always open for negotiations, but only on equal footing.

Trade negotiations between the world's two biggest economies collapsed in early May, with both sides blaming the other for it. The US blamed China for backtracking on its promises, while China blamed the US for giving unreasonable demands. Shortly after negotiations had stalled, Trump had imposed a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China responded by raising tariffs on more than $60 billion worth of US imports. The US also dealt a big blow to China's tech industry after it included Huawei in its trade blacklist. China had publicly accused the United States of "economic terrorism" and of trying to strong-arm a deal in its favor.  

As both countries continue their tit-for-tat measures against each other, most are now looking to the upcoming face-to-face meeting between Trump and Xi.

The meeting could potentially ease trade tensions between the two nations, which could lead to the removal of the imposed tariffs. Both countries previously agreed to a trade-war ceasefire back in November last year after meeting personally at the last G20 summit in Argentina.

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