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  • U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting in the White House State Dining Room

    U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting in the White House State Dining Room | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 June 2019

“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens... I could go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” Trump told reporters on Thursday, without specifying which goods could be impacted.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to hit China with “at least” another $300 billion of tariffs but said he thought both China and Mexico wanted to make deals in their trade disputes with the United States.

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“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens... I could go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” Trump told reporters on Thursday, without specifying which goods could be impacted.

“But I think China wants to make a deal and I think Mexico wants to make a deal badly,” said Trump before boarding Air Force One at the Irish airport of Shannon on his way to France for a D-Day commemoration.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to hit China with tariffs as he claims Beijing is benefitting greatly from the current trade imbalance.

At the same time, the U.S. has further agitated Beijing by offering to sell more weapons to Taiwan amid an ongoing dispute in the South China Sea.

The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies escalates.

An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the U.S. Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the possible deal.

The potential sale included 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams tanks worth around $2 billion as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions, three of the sources said. Taiwan has been interested in refreshing its existing U.S.-made battle tank inventory, which includes M60 Patton tanks.

The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in March the United States was responding positively to Taipei’s requests for new arms sales to bolster its defenses in the face of pressure from China. The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself.  

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