WASHINGTON — The White House warned Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday against trying to wait out President Donald Trump in the ongoing trade dispute between their countries.
The warning from Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, came ahead of the two leaders’ high-stakes sit-down on Saturday evening in Argentina.
Over the last year, the two countries have leveled a series of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports from one another, with the latest round of U.S. duties set to go into force in the new year.
Kudlow said the administration has been “extremely disappointed” by China’s engagement in trade talks but the meeting between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit could be a game-changer.
“Perhaps we can break through in Buenos Aires or not,” he said.
Kudlow added that if the U.S. doesn’t get “satisfactory” responses to its trade positions more tariffs will be imposed. He said Trump is “not going away.”
“I hope they understand that,” he said.
The Trump-Xi meeting would be the first since the two countries began hitting each other with import taxes earlier this year. The United States targeted $250 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing lashed back by slapping tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods.
China’s foreign ministry has said a recent phone conversation between Xi and Trump about trade and other issues was “extremely positive.”