President Donald Trump warned Monday he will slap huge new tariffs on China if his counterpart Xi Jinping doesn't show up for a planned face-to-face meeting later this month and insisted the Chinese economy will never overtake the United States.
"Tariffs are a lovely thing when you are the piggy bank", Trump said.
His latest assault on the USA central bank returned to his argument that it should aid his trade war with China, a sensitive topic among US allies who worry about monetary policy being used for foreign policy goals.
Asked if a failure by Xi to come to the summit would lead to tariffs kicking in on a further $300 billion in Chinese imports, Trump told CNBC television: "Yes it would".
But even so "China is getting absolutely decimated" by USA actions, he said.
Trump's broadside comes a week before the Fed meets in Washington, when it's expected to discuss whether an interest-rate cut is needed to help offset an economic slowdown caused by his trade war.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC, Trump also said disputes over Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies could be addressed as part of any USA trade deal with China.
"With Mexico, what's going to happen is all the companies would immediately move into the United States".
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Trump is going after the chamber, saying it has its priorities wrong.
"I don't want to put their companies out of business, I want China to do well, I don't want them to do as well as us", Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump announced Friday he would suspend his threat of a tariff, starting at 5 percent, after reaching an agreement with Mexico on border security. It's unclear how effective the deal will prove to be, as much will depend on how it is enforced, but Trump defended it vigorously during the CNBC interview. Trump said on CNBC that the USA purposely isn't discussing one of the aspects of the agreement yet, claiming that it is another "very powerful tool" for the U.S.
The interview was wide-ranging. In the past year, Trump has imposed large import penalties on $250 billion in Chinese goods.
"Obviously there is something going on in terms of monopoly", Trump said.
"I do see it as a threat", he said about Huawei. But the USA delegation left without any significant breakthrough on China. Last week Powell opened the door to a cut if trade tensions cause US businesses to cut back on investment and hiring.
Facts First:This isn't even close to true; nor is it clear what Trump is actually referencing here.
Trump defended employing tariffs as a negotiating tactic and said without them the United States would be "absolutely at a competitive disadvantage the likes of which you've never seen".