US President Donald Trump has fired a broadside at China ahead of the two sides’ trade negotiations, criticising its economy and saying the US has “all the cards”.
The attack has sent global stock markets sliding as the tensions between the world’s two biggest economies show little sign of abating.
“China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 – was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now – no signs that they are doing so,” Trump said on Twitter.
“That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through. Our Economy has become MUCH larger than the Chinese Economy is last 3 years.”
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin will begin negotiations with the Chinese side in Shanghai today. Yet investors are not cheery about the prospects.
The US benchmark S&P 500 stock index had fallen 0.4 per cent by 3pm UK time, half an hour after the bell. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.3 per cent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 0.5 per cent lower.
Germany’s benchmark Dax stock index had fallen 2.2 per cent, and Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.3 per cent down despite a tumbling pound.
Talks between the US and China blew up spectacularly in May when the US accused China of reneging on its promises. This prompted the Trump administration to ratchet up tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods to 25 per cent. China currently tariffs around $110bn worth of US goods.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met last month and promised to restart trade talks. Trump said he would not put levies on all Chinese goods if China pledged to buy US agricultural products.
Yet Trump did not seem convinced he could trust China today: “My team is negotiating with them now, but they always change the deal in the end to their benefit.”
He said China would get a better deal if they were negotiating with Democrats, such as ex-vice president Joe Biden.
“They should probably wait out our Election to see if we get one of the Democrat stiffs like Sleepy Joe. Then they could make a GREAT deal, like in past 30 years, and continue to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before.”
(Image credit: Getty)