Trump shifts stance on Chinese tariff

Donald Trump  at a campaign stop in Iowa earlier this month. Photo by Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign stop in Iowa on Dec. 5, 2015. This week he stepped back from a plan to levy heavy tariffs on China. Photo by Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is leaving himself wiggle room on his proposal to impose a massive tax on goods from China.

He now says he doubts the tariff would be necessary at all. He says he’s confident China would change its behavior to avoid it and start trading more fairly.

The Republican presidential contender told The New York Times last week that he’d “tax China on products coming in” to the U.S. and “the tax should be 45 percent.”

He blames China for devaluing its currency to give it a huge trade advantage. A big tax on Chinese goods would make prices higher for U.S. consumers.

But on Sunday news shows on Fox and NBC, he suggested he’d give China a chance to change. Any tariff could be much lower.