Trump sure China will drop 'unfair' tariffs

Trump and Xi.
Trump and Xi. Photo credit: File

US President Donald Trump has said in a tweet China will take down its trade barriers and that the two countries would reach a deal on intellectual property.

On Thursday, Mr Trump directed US trade officials to identify tariffs on another US$100 billion of Chinese imports, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world's two largest economies.

The further tariffs were being considered "in light of China's unfair retaliation" against earlier US trade actions, which included a proposed US$50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, Mr Trump said in a White House statement on Thursday.

In his tweet on Sunday, Mr Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would always be friends despite the dispute, adding: "China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become reciprocal and a deal will be made on intellectual property. Great future for both countries!"

On Tuesday, the US Trade Representative had proposed 25 percent tariffs on more than 1300 Chinese industrial and other products from flat-panel televisions to electronic components.

China shot back 11 hours later with a list of proposed duties on US$50 billion of American imports, including soybeans, aircraft, cars, beef and chemicals.

The president did not provide a reason for the statement or say whether China had indicated it planned to drop its tariffs.