Today, the government of the United States of America, refused to back down from its ongoing trade dispute with China. It warned that it would double the existing tariffs that are imposed on Chinese imports once the country declines to heel to its demands.
Mike Pence, the US vice president, issued a stark warning that was aimed for China during a summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) that was held in Papua New Guinea this morning, in an attempt to force the hand of the country.
Pence stated: “We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China.”
He added: “We put tariffs on $250bn in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number.”
He continued: “The United States, though, will not change course until China changes its ways.”
Donald Trump, the US President, has imposed tariffs on $250bn worth of imports from China this year to force the concessions on a list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two nations.
The warning of Pence came as a surprise, just a day after Trump admitted that the US may not impose additional tariffs since China had already provided a list of measures that it was willing to take in order to resolve the dispute.
The list is reported to have included 142 items, however, Trump claimed that there were “four or five big things left off” and “it’s just not acceptable to me yet.” Trump said that he was confident it would not come down to an increase in tariffs.
The current tariff rate is set at 10 percent, however, it is set to increase to 25 percent on the 1st of January, once a deal is not struck in the meantime.
Xi Jinping, the President of China, responded with a subtle warning that the United States risked closing themselves off from the world. He said that he was joined by a number of other Asia-Pacific leaders in pushing for free-trade.
At the APEC summit that was held today, Xi stated: “One who chooses to close his door will only cut himself off from the rest of the world and lose his direction.”