President Donald Trump said Tuesday it was highly unlikely there will be a postponement of the tariff hike to 25 percent on goods worth $200 billion imported from China, as Beijing wishes while the two parties are negotiating.
Trump made that statement in an interview published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal a few days before the president leaves for Buenos Aires to attend the G20 Summit , where he plans to have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an attempt to lower trade tensions.
He said, however, that if he can't reach an agreement with Xi about opening the Chinese market to US exports, he will continue putting the pressure on the world's second largest economy by adding tariff increases to other goods to which they have not yet been applied.
In September, the United States imposed a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of imports from China, which will soar to 25 percent in January 2019, and has threatened to slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods.
Beijing has blasted Washington's trade war for its harmful consequences and has applied reciprocal measures on more than $60 billion worth of imports from the US.
The US stepped up the tension by accusing China of designing tariffs that affect products from states that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, for the suspected purpose of undermining Republican legislators in the Nov. 6 Congressional elections.
Trump told the newspaper he would have no problem charging tariffs on products of the digital giant Apple such as iPhones and laptop computers, made in China and sold in the United States.
In 2017, the US exported products to China worth some $130 billion, while the Asian nation exported to the US market goods valued at $506 billion.