White House expects retaliation from China, stresses ongoing talks

White House expects retaliation from China, stresses ongoing talks
© Getty Images

The Trump administration is expecting retaliation from China after imposing a new round of steep tariffs but is stressing that negotiations are ongoing.

The U.S. and China seemed poised to reach a deal on their yearlong trade war last week until President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE raised tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday after a breakdown of negotiations.

"The problem is two weeks ago in China, there was backtracking by the Chinese," White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE said on "Fox News Sunday."

ADVERTISEMENT
Chinese negotiators reportedly tried to reverse their vows to address issues such as theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.

Now that Trump has imposed the long-threatened tariffs bump and is considering extending it to more Chinese goods in the future, members of the administration expect retaliation.

"The expected countermeasures have not yet materialized. We may know more today or even this evening or tomorrow," Kudlow said.

He added that the potential additional tariffs may take months to implement.

"Call it a couple months. Call it three months. I don’t know. ... That will take some time, and then of course the president is going to have to make the final decision on that," he said.

Kudlow added that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet in June and that negotiations are ongoing.

"The talks will continue, and I will say this, the G20 meeting in Japan toward the end of June, the chances President Trump and President Xi will get together at that meeting are probably pretty good," he said.

Kudlow, United States Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread On The Money: Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in stimulus talks | Prosecutors hint at probe into 'possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization' Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House MORE have been in discussions with Chinese negotiators for weeks, meeting in both Beijing and Washington in attempts to iron out a deal.

Chinese state media said Sunday that officials there are open to continuing those discussions but will not yield on issues important to state security, according to Reuters.

Several Democrats have been critical of the Trump's use of tariffs as a negotiation tactic.

"Wielding tariffs like a cudgel because it makes the president look tough? That only hurts American families," Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonPortland: The Pentagon should step up or pipe down House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (D-Mass.), a 2020 presidential candidate, told Fox on Sunday, explaining that farmers are bearing the weight of Chinese tariffs.

"Putting tariffs on our allies, putting tariffs on even the Chinese that are actually taxes on American producers, American farmers … I think [is] completely the wrong way of doing this," Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHow Congress is preventing a Medicare bankruptcy during COVID-19 Tom Cotton rips NY Times for Chinese scientist op-ed criticizing US coronavirus response Our national forests need protection — and Congress can help MORE (D-Colo.), another 2020 hopeful, said on CBS's "Face The Nation."

Trump has maintained in tweets that his new round of tariffs will be paid for by China and will benefit the U.S. 

Kudlow contradicted the president Sunday, agreeing that China does not pay the tariffs.

"It’s not China that pays tariffs. It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what in effect is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers," Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates Bass: 'Lesson learned' on 2016 Castro comments MORE said to Kudlow.