Trump: New China tariffs will take effect immediately if Xi skips G-20

By Sylvan Lane

President Trump on Monday threatened to immediately impose tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods if Chinese President Xi Jinping does not appear at this month’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit.

Asked during a CNBC interview if the new tariffs would take effect if Xi does not attend the gathering of world leaders in Osaka, Japan, Trump responded, “Yes, it would.” Trump said he would be “surprised” if Xi did not attend because the two leaders are expected to meet to discuss the U.S.-China trade dispute.

“He’s actually an incredible guy. He’s a great man. He’s very strong and very smart, but he’s for China and I’m for the United States,” the president said during a phone interview with the cable business news channel.

  • Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports if the two countries do not reach a deal soon to end their long-running trade dispute.
  • The president raised tariffs on roughly $200 billion in Chinese goods last month after trade talks collapsed, prompting Beijing to increase tariffs on around $60 billion in U.S. imports.
  • The additional tariffs would cover nearly all Chinese imports and could dramatically raise consumer prices.

Trump expressed confidence China wants to make a deal but also said he would be fine leaving the tariffs in place. He added that the “best deal we could have” is the revenue from the import duties, which are paid by U.S. firms and often passed on to consumers.

Business groups have urged Trump to broker a deal to lift the tariffs, pointing out they are paid for by U.S. importers — not Chinese companies — and the cost is often passed on to the consumer.

Axios reported Sunday that a major coalition of business groups backing Trump’s North American trade deal update considered “redirecting their money toward opposing Trump’s tariffs and potentially to support efforts to claw back the president’s trade powers.”

Trump appeared on CNBC shortly after Myron Brilliant, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, criticized the president’s use of tariffs in trade and immigration disputes.

The president shot back at Brilliant and the Chamber, even threatening to end his own membership with the storied business lobbying group.

“I’m a member of the U.S. Chamber,” Trump said. “Maybe I’ll have to rethink that, because when you look at it, the chamber is probably more for the companies and the people that are members than they are for our country.”

“I just want to say to the United States Chamber of Commerce, if we didn’t have tariffs, we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico,” he added.

Speaking of tariffs: Trump also suggested he may take action to address what he deems an unfair tariff imbalance on wine imports and exports with France.

BREAKING- House Democrats pull bill that would give lawmakers a pay raise: House Democrats are pulling a spending bill that would give lawmakers a pay raise for the first time in a decade amid a backlash from swing-district freshmen.

The House is still slated to consider the rest of an appropriations package for other agencies, but not the section concerning legislative branch operations.

A senior Democratic aide said consideration of legislative branch spending will remain on hold as lawmakers discuss the pay raise issue.

The Hill’s Cristina Marcos will have more details here.

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