US President Donald Trump says he is likely to go ahead with a hike on tariffs currently imposed on Chinese goods.
The comments to the Wall Street Journal come as he is expected to meet China’s Xi Jinping on the sidelines of this week’s G20 summit.
The tariffs would be raised from 10% to 25% on $200bn (£156bn) worth of goods.
If negotiations were unsuccessful, Mr Trump said he would act on a previous threat to target additional Chinese goods with tariffs.
“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” Mr Trump was also quoted as saying. That additional amount would be targeted with a tariff of 10% or 25%, he told the Wall Street Journal.
He said Apple iPhones and laptop computers imported from China could also be subject to tariffs.
In a war, always keep your opponent guessing. That’s the first rule of negotiation. And the more publicly you can declare your position, the better.
That’s exactly how you should read President Trump’s comments to the Wall Street Journal about going ahead with fresh China tariffs if Beijing doesn’t play ball.
This is classic Trumpism. Show strength so you can scare your opponent into doing what you want. But the Chinese aren’t like anyone the president has dealt with before.
Mr Trump launched a trade war with China this year, which has seen the US hit about half of all Chinese imports into the US with tariffs.
China has retaliated but has less room to manoeuvre as the US buys much more from China than it exports there.
“It is deeply disappointing the president wants to undermine his opportunity to create meaningful progress before the discussions even begin,” said Jose Castaneda, spokesperson for the US-based Information Technology Industry Council.
The US president has signalled he wants to continue with this “short-sighted” trade war despite “the pain” Americans have felt as a result of tariffs, Mr Castaneda said.
“Imposing a new round of tariffs would cause a shock that will reverberate across America and the globe,” he said.