Trump tariffs

A real U.S.-China trade deal is a long way away

illustration of U.S. and China storage containers built as forts
Illustration Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump roiled markets yesterday when he said his administration would likely keep tariffs on Chinese goods until he's certain Beijing is fully cooperating with the terms of a trade deal. That could mean years of negotiation, acrimony and tariffs, given the nature of the changes being discussed.

The big picture: A trade agreement between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping is just one piece of a wide-ranging confrontation between the world's top economies.

Trump to keep tariffs in place until China complies with trade deal

Donald Trump.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump said he plans to keep tariffs in place on Chinese goods for a "substantial period of time," possibly even after a trade deal is forged to ensure Beijing's compliance, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: China has been pushing the Trump administration to eliminate tariffs in any forthcoming deal, so the president's comments are certainly not a carrot for China's end of the bargain. Despite that, Trump said the trade negotiations are "coming along nicely."

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