Talking to the reporters at the White House, American President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a "substantial period," thus dampening hopes of the possibilities of a renewed trade agreement that would have lifted them soon.
"We are talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time," he said. The statement comes a week before the US and Chinese officials are due to begin a fresh round of talks in Beijing.
"We have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal." Trump further said that the trade talks were "coming along nicely."
The two biggest economies in the world are currently battling over the final shape of an agreement that both the sides would like to reach. American officials have been demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy.
Washington also insisted that any agreement have teeth, including the ability to impose tariffs unilaterally should China begin backsliding on any commitments to end alleged unfair trade practices.
In the last eight months, US and China have slapped tariffs on each other on two -way goods trade worth more than $360 billion, weighing not only on the manufacturing sectors in both countries but hindering the global economic growth.