Trump to meet Chinese leader as trade tensions escalate

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE on Monday said he plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinButina asks for donations to pay legal expenses Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now Gabbard says claim her campaign is getting boost from Putin apologists is 'fake news' MORE next month when world leaders gather for the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Japan.

Trump predicted his meeting with Xi would be “very fruitful” and argued he would be negotiating from a position of strength after trade talks broke down last week between the world's two largest economies.

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“We’re in a great position right now, no matter what we do,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Hungary’s prime minister. “Yeah, I think China wants to have it.”

The president’s announcement comes as trade tensions between the two nations have flared with each having hiked tariffs on the others’ imports following the failure of last week’s negotiations.

Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, but he said Monday he has not decided whether to impose 25 percent tariffs on the roughly $325 billion in remaining Chinese imports.

“We have another $325 billion that we can do, if we decided to do it,” he said. “I haven't made that decision yet ... That is a tremendous amount of money that would come into our country.”

Beijing responded by increasing tariffs up to 25 percent on $60 billion in U.S. goods, set to take effect on June 1. Trump said he can tolerate “some retaliation but it can’t be very, very substantial by comparison.”

“We are taking in tens of billions of dollars. We have never done that before with China,” Trump said, doubling down on his stance the standoff benefits the U.S. even though some of his top advisers disagree.

The escalating conflict has rattled financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 617 points on Monday afternoon and the S&P 500 tumbled 2.41 percent on the news.

China has targeted major U.S. agricultural products with its tariffs, a move that could cause economic pain in Heartland states critical to Trump’s reelection in 2020.

The president said he would use some of the revenue generated by tariffs to fund a $15 billion financial relief package for farmers, but did not provide further details.

“We’re going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion, and do something reciprocal to our farmers so our farmers can do well,” he said.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOn The Money: GOP angst grows over Trump's trade war | Trump promises help for 'Patriot Farmers' | Markets rebound | CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies | Senate to vote on disaster aid bill next week GOP angst grows amid Trump trade war California jury links weedkiller Roundup to cancer, awards couple billion MORE said last week Trump had asked him to begin crafting an aid program for U.S. farmers.

Trump had sought to use tariffs on China to pressure Xi into signing a sweeping agreement addressing core U.S. complaints about the trading relationship, including alleged intellectual property theft, public subsidies for Chinese companies and the lack of access to certain Chinese markets.

The president said the deal was “95 percent” completed when Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWhite House encouraging investment in Middle East as part of peace plan Trump, China and trade: Who blinks first? On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE informed him last week that Beijing had “unagreed to” a number of key provisions.

Trump’s meeting with Putin also poses some risks for the president, who was widely criticized after a summit meeting last year for failing to confront the Russian leader over meddling in the 2016 election.

The controversy led the White House to scrap a planned meeting between Trump and Putin at last year’s G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“The message is that there has never been anybody that’s been so tough on Russia, but at the same time we’re going to end up getting along with Russia,” Trump said. “It makes sense to get along with Russia.”

The meeting with Putin would be their first face-to-face interaction following the end of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Moscow’s election interference.

The probe found no criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia, but Mueller’s 448-page report laid out in detail how the Kremlin sought to tip the scales in Trump’s favor as well as more than a hundred interactions between Trump campaign officials and people linked to the Russian government.

Trump told reporters he would not seek to use dirt from a foreign country in his reelection race.

“Well, I never did use [it]. As you probably know, that's what the Mueller report was all about. They said, ‘No collusion,’ ” he said. “And I would certainly agree to that. I don't need it. All I need is the opponents that I'm looking at. I'm liking what I see.”

The G-20 summit will take place June 28-29 in the Japanese city of Osaka.

Updated at 3:43 p.m.