President Donald Trump at the White House last week.

  • President Donald Trump on Monday said tariffs had put the US "in a very strong bargaining position."
  • He threatened other countries with tariffs if they didn't "make fair deals with us."
  • The US is expected to levy tariffs on another $200 billion (R3 trillion) worth of Chinese goods as soon as Monday.
  • China has threatened to retaliate and pull out of negotiations if that happens.

US President Donald Trump escalated his trade-war rhetoric on Monday, threatening unspecified countries with tariffs if they "will not make fair deals with us."

The US is already engaged in a trade war with China and is expected to levy new tariffs on $200 billion (R3 trillion) worth of Chinese goods as soon as Monday, on top of the tariffs in place on more than $50 billion (R750 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

Many US businesses have warned that a new rounds of tariffs would threaten to increase prices of everyday goods for Americans — goods as varied as baby seats and bikes.

Trump defended his policies in an early-morning tweet on Monday, writing: "Tariffs have put the US in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable. If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'"

He followed with another tweet a few minutes later that said: "Our Steel Industry is the talk of the World. It has been given new life, and is thriving. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!"

The statements come as relations between the US and China appear to strain. There had been hopes of a resolution on trade between the two, but news of the planned fresh US tariffs has sparked anger in Beijing.

China is reportedly threatening to pull out of trade negotiations if the US levies new tariffs, and the Foreign Ministry on Monday said it would respond in kind if the US were to levy fresh tariffs.

The Global Times, a state-owned Chinese tabloid, said in an editorial on Monday: "We are looking forward to a more beautiful counterattack and will keep increasing the pain felt by the US."

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