US President Trump calls latest tariff delay a goodwill gesture

World Today

Signs of optimism in the U.S.-China trade conflict.

Late Wednesday U.S President Donald Trump delayed a 5% tariff increase on some Chinese made products from October 1 to October 15.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

The move avoids coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the formation of the People’s Republic of China – President Trump calls it a goodwill gesture.

The delay comes after China exempted some U.S. products from its increased tariffs.

“I think they did the right thing, I think it was good for them, that they took them off. Yeah, I think it was a gesture, OK. It was a big move, people were shocked, I wasn’t shocked, but I deal with them and I know them and I like them and I hope we can do something,” said President Trump

The delayed U.S. tariffs were warmly received in Beijing and officials suggest Chinese firms may buy more U.S. agriculture products including pork and soybeans.

“We welcome the goodwill actions released by the United States. As far as I know, Chinese companies have started to inquire about prices for U.S. agricultural goods purchases. We hoped that the two sides will continue to meet each other half ways and take practical actions to create favorable conditions for the consultation,” Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesman Gao Feng said.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said he is cautiously optimistic but warns Trump is prepared to continue raising tariffs if progress isn’t made.

“Well there’s no question, the only reason why China is seriously negotiating with us is because of the tariffs. And this president is dealing with issues that should have been dealt with for the last 20 or 30 years. So tariffs do work. That’s what brought them to the table.”