Trump slams European automakers, threatens United States tariffs


China has retaliated with its own tariff increases on $110 billion of US exports.

Trump's remarks came as his chief trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, prepares to head to Beijing next week for the latest round of high-level talks, after a weeks-long hiatus in face-to-face meetings between the two sides.

The Trump administration is also pushing China to end its practice of forcing US companies to transfer their technology advances to Chinese firms.

President Donald Trump says if the US gets a trade deal with China, tariffs could stay in place for some time to ensure Beijing "lives by the deal".

Trump's comments on Wednesday suggesting a "substantial" extension of tariffs were met with dismay by United States retail industry figures who have lobbied for the removal of import taxes, which recent studies show have a far greater impact on USA consumers than Chinese exporters.

"The European Union ... frankly, treats us as badly as China", President Trump said in the interview. "We're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal, China lives by it".

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While Trump's goal for the trade war was to reduce the trade deficit, particular in goods, Trump's tariffs may actually be helping to drive the deficit increase.

On Friday, China's rubber-stamp parliament approved a foreign investment law to strengthen protections for intellectual property - a central United States grievance - but critics said the bill was rammed through without sufficient time for input from businesses. His "end game" on the issue is that European carmakers will "build their plants in the United States and they have no tariffs".

The Chinese vice premier will follow up with a visit to Washington in early April for more talks. He said both countries also agreed to hold ninth round of trade talks in Washington DC in April.

"The deal will probably happen".

Macron's remarks came after US President Donald Trump once again threatened to impose tariffs on European cars and vehicle parts in late February if Brussels and Washington can not come to an agreement on trade.

Negotiations between the world's two largest economies will continue next week when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer go to Beijing.