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China ‘eating the tariffs,’ Trump says ahead of talks


US President Donald Trump on Friday said the costs of his protracted trade war were falling squarely on China.

Top-level negotiators are due to gather in Washington early next month while lower-level staff will meet in late September, according to officials on both sides.

“China is eating the tariffs,” Trump said on Twitter, repeating his claim that higher duty rates meant Washington collected billions of dollars from the Asian economy and not US importers.


“China having the worst year in decades. Talks happening, good for all!”

Corporate earnings reports indicate American companies have been hit by rising tariffs and trade uncertainty. A report released this week said more than 10,000 job cuts announced last month stemmed from “trade difficulties.”

Trade relations between the two economic powers deteriorated suddenly last month and US duties on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods are due to rise in October and December.

Trump in recent weeks has insisted that China’s slowing economy will pressure Beijing into cutting a deal favourable to the US. There are mounting signs the trade war has also begun to weigh on the US economy, however.

Larry Kudlow, a top Trump economic adviser, told CNBC on Friday the face-to-face talks will resume in a calmer atmosphere despite steadily escalating tariffs.

“I don’t want to predict anything. I’m just saying it is good thing that they’re coming here, and tempers are calmer,” Kudlow said.

“We would love to go back to where we were in May, where we were getting kind of close to an agreement, maybe 90 percent of the way,” he added.

“It’s very positive that we negotiate and it may well be that something positive comes out of that.”

After months of positive signals from both sides, talks abruptly broke up in May as US officials accused their Chinese counterparts of retracting core commitments made up to that point.


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