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President Trump, who departed for Japan on Wednesday for the start of the G20 summit, is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday as the tariff spat looms over the meetings.
Trump teased the possibility of warmer negotiations with Beijing on Wednesday, suggesting it was possible to strike a trade deal with Xi during their meeting this weekend; however, he warned that he’s prepared to impose a U.S. tariff on all remaining Chinese imports if talks go poorly.
“When you say, 'are we going to make a deal?' it’s possible we’re going to make a deal but I’m also very happy where we are now,” Trump said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “We’re taking in a fortune and frankly not a good thing for China but it’s a very good thing for us.”
Relations between the U.S. and China soured at the beginning of May when a near-deal crumbled after Washington officials accused China of reneging on some of its promises. Negotiations have not continued, and Trump and Xi have not met face-to-face since December.
But the president said China “wants to make a deal. They want to make a deal more than I do.”
If negotiations crumble, however, Trump warned that he was willing to slap additional tariffs on Chinese goods.
“I would do additional tariffs ... very substantial additional tariffs if that doesn’t work, if we don’t make a deal,” he said.
The U.S. already imposes a tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods; however, Trump said he would consider lowering the tax rate to 10 percent from the proposed 25 percent during “phase two.”
Trump will also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the summit amid scrutiny about potential Russian interference in U.S. elections.
He told a reporter, however, that his upcoming talks are “none of your business.”