WASHINGTON (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump on Monday (May 13) warned China not to retaliate against a hike in tariffs he imposed last week and said US consumers would not pay for any increase in duties.
There "is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today ... China should not retaliate-will only get worse!" Mr Trump tweeted, adding that tariffs can be avoided if manufacturers shift production from China to other countries.
"I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don't make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!" Mr Trump continued.
The trade war between the world's top two economies escalated last Friday, with the United States hiking tariffs on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) worth of Chinese goods after Mr Trump said Beijing "broke the deal" by reneging on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations.
Mr Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow had conceded on Sunday that US companies and consumers would pay the tariff bill.
The White House economic director said that "both sides will suffer" from the widening US-China trade war, while predicting that the impact on US jobs and growth from higher tariffs assessed on Chinese goods would be "de minimis".
Mr Kudlow said the US tariffs would remain in place while negotiations continue.
Beijing remained defiant.
"At no time will China forfeit the country's respect, and no one should expect China to swallow bitter fruit that harms its core interests," the People's Daily, a newspaper controlled by the Chinese ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary on Monday.
It said Beijing was open to talks but would not yield on important issues of principle.
China's nationalist Global Times tabloid said in an editorial on Monday that the country had no reasons to fear a trade war.