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Trump threatens China with more tariffs

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U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers a speech at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on June 1, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark global pact to fight climate change. (Xinhua/Mike Theiler)

SHANNON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump threatened to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods but said he thought both China and Mexico wanted to make deals in their trade disputes with the United States.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have risen sharply since talks aimed at ending a festering trade war broke down in early May.

While Mr Trump said yesterday that talks with China are ongoing, no face-to-face meetings have been held since May 10, the day he sharply increased tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods to 25 percent, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens… I could go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” Mr Trump told reporters yesterday, without specifying which goods could be impacted.

“But I think China wants to make a deal and I think Mexico wants to make a deal badly,” said Mr Trump before boarding Air Force One at the Irish airport of Shannon on his way to France for a D-Day commemoration.

China’s Commerce Ministry also said yesterday that Beijing would have to adopt necessary countermeasures if Washington unilaterally escalates trade tensions, and that US pressure have caused serious setbacks to the trade talks.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday that escalating tariff threats were sapping business and market confidence, and could slow global growth that is currently expected to improve next year.

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