The US government will increase tariffs on Chinese goods in December if a trade deal is not finalized by December, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mnuchin was one of the key US negotiators during trade talks last week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held in Washington.
“I have every expectation if there’s not a deal those tariffs will go in place, but I expect we’ll have a deal,” said Mnuchin in an interview on US TV.
US tariff increases on a batch of Chinese goods valued at $250 billion were suspended following high-level trade negotiations last Thursday and Friday.
US President Donald Trump quickly announced that a “phase one deal” had been reached and that in return for suspending tariff increases Chinese imports, Beijing would buy up to $50 billion in US agricultural goods.
“My deal with China is that they will IMMEDIATELY start buying very large quantities of our agricultural product, not wait until the deal is signed over the next 3 or 4 weeks,” tweeted Trump on Monday.
The next scheduled US tariff hike is to take place on December 15 and will slap tariffs on a batch of Chinese imports valued at $160 billion.