KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump predicted on Sunday that China would take down its trade barriers, expressing optimism despite escalating trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies that have roiled global markets in the past week.
The two countries have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs in recent days and Chinese officials have said this is not the time for negotiations.
But Trump administration officials have stressed that the tariffs are not yet in place and the dispute could be resolved through talks.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Trump echoed this, saying “China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become reciprocal and a deal will be made on intellectual property.”
He referred to his personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said the two men would always be friends, adding, “Great future for both countries!”
There has been no indication that Trump and Xi have had any conversations since the trade conflict erupted last week and no formal trade talks between the United States and China have been scheduled yet.
On Tuesday, Washington unveiled some $50 billion worth of proposed tariffs on Chinese imports and on Thursday Trump upped the ante, directing U.S. trade officials to identify tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese imports. He said this was “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against the earlier U.S. trade action.
China responded by saying it was fully prepared to respond with a “fierce counter strike” if the United States followed through on the new threat.
China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said on Friday that Trump’s threat of another package of tariffs was “extremely mistaken” and unjustified, adding no negotiations were likely in the current circumstances.
Crude oil and global equity markets tumbled on Friday on investor worries about the impact a tariff war could have on the world economy.