Trump to meet Xi after defiant China slaps U.S. with new tariffs

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month and that he expected their discussions would be “very fruitful,” as the trade war between the world’s two largest economies intensified.

Earlier, China announced it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas, a move that followed Washington’s decision last week to hike its own levies on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

The U.S. president said he would meet Xi at a G20 summit in Japan in late June.

“We’re dealing with them. We have a very good relationship,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “Maybe something will happen. We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”

Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda, added that he had not yet decided whether to go ahead with tariffs on roughly another $325 billion in goods from China.

For its part, China said on Monday it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on 5,140 U.S. products on a revised $60 billion target list. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.

“China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to U.S. unilateralism and protectionism,” its finance ministry said. “China hopes the U.S. will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and economic consultations and meet with China halfway.”

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