said Thursday he would decide in “the next two weeks” whether to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports, a move that would dramatically escalate his trade war with Beijing.
Trump told reporters in France that he is “probably planning it some time after” the Group of 20 summit of world leaders at the end of the month. The president is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering in Osaka, Japan.
“I will be meeting with President Xi and we’ll see what happens,” the president said.
Trump earlier Wednesday threatened to slap tariffs on “at least” $300 billion in additional Chinese goods, which would cover nearly all imports to the U.S. But he expressed confidence Xi would want to reach a deal.
“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, we’re getting 25 percent on $250 billion and I could go up another at least $300 billion, and I’ll do that at the right time. But I think China wants to make a deal badly,” he said.
Trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies have spiked since negotiations collapsed last month without a deal to resolve their dispute.
Trump responded by increasing existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent, and China hit back by raising tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods.
The two countries have not held in-person talks since the last round of negotiations broke down on May 10.