China is sticking firm to its demand that the US remove tariffs as talks on an interim trade deal continues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the trade war between the two nations started with the imposition of tariffs and it should end with their removals.
“That is the important condition for reaching the deal,” Gao said in a press conference on Thursday. “The significance of the phase one deal should reflect the scale of the tariff roll back.”
“China is willing to work together with the US, resolving each other’s core concerns properly on the basis of equality and mutual respect and creating conditions for the phase one deal.”
Gao’s remarks came after US President Donald Trump warned in a speech on Tuesday “if we don’t make a deal, we will substantially raise those tariffs”.
But the US President told the Economic Club of New York that a deal was close, adding that China “is having the worst year in more than half a century, their supply chains are cracking very badly and they are dying to make a deal”.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said last week that the two countries had agreed to the phased removal of tariffs on each other’s goods, but the next day Trump denied committing to such an arrangement.
The US is set to impose 15 per cent additional tariffs on US$156 billion of Chinese products on December 15, including video game consoles and computer monitors.