Speaking with reporters in Ireland before boarding Air Force One for France, the president brought up the status of trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies. Neither United States nor Chinese delegates have met face-to-face since May 10, when Trump hiked duties from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of the country’s imports. Beijing retaliated with new tariffs of 5% to 25% on $60 billion of U.S. products.
“Our talks with China — a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens,” he said. “In the meantime, we’re getting 25% on $250 billion, and I can go up another at least $300 billion, and I’ll do that at the right time.”
On the heels of the threat, major benchmark indexes were mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened slightly higher with a 0.1% gain, or 28 points. The S&P 500 also kicked off the trading day up 0.1%, or nearly 3 points, but the Nasdaq Composite was in the red with a loss of 0.15%, or 11 points.
Trump also addressed his trade battle with Mexico, the imports of which he vowed to tax 5% unless it took more measures to stop the influx of Central American migrants illegally crossing the border. His comments come a day after the White House failed to reach an agreement on immigration.
While Trump’s threat on Mexico would impact all goods coming from the country, he did not specify what industries, businesses or products would be affected with the new challenge on China.
“I think China wants to make a deal badly,” he added, “and I think Mexico wants to make a deal badly.”
Watch the highlights at the 2018 FNAAs.
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