China says it has “made all necessary preparations” if the United States follows through on a pledge to impose a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods, as its chief trade negotiator arrives in Washington for another round of talks aimed at ending its trade war.
Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, will sit down with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Thursday, a day before tariffs increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
U.S. President Donald Trump set the Friday deadline to raise tariffs after the United States accused China of reneging earlier this week on commitments made during months of talks to end their trade war.
“They broke the deal. So they’re flying in. The vice premier tomorrow is flying in, but they broke the deal. They can’t do that. So they’ll be paying,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Florida.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump said he would be “happy” to maintain tariffs on Chinese imports, and added that Beijing would be mistaken if it hopes to negotiate trade later with a Democratic presidential administration.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing Thursday that China will not bow to any pressure, and warned it has the “determination and ability to defend its own interests.” The ministry issued an earlier statement vowing to take any “necessary” countermeasures if the tax is implemented.
The Trump administration hopes the new tariffs will force changes in China’s trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices.
The two sides have been unable to reach a deal due, in part, to differences over the enforcement of an agreement and a timeline for removing the tariffs.