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U.S. Plans More China Tariffs If Trump-Xi Meeting Fails, Sources Say

The U.S. is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if talks next month between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war, three people familiar with the matter said.

An early-December announcement of a new product list would mean the effective date — after a 60-day public comment period — may coincide with China’s Lunar New Year holiday in early February. The list would apply to the imports from the Asian nation that aren’t already covered by previous rounds of tariffs — which may be $257 billion using last year’s import figures, according to two of the people.

U.S. officials are preparing for such a scenario in case a planned Trump-Xi meeting yields no progress on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires in November, according to two of the people, who declined to be identified to discuss internal deliberations. They cautioned that final decisions had not been made.

Trump, in an interview with Fox News late Monday, said “I think we will make a great deal with China, and it has to be great because they’ve drained our country.”

Any further broadening of tariffs would show the Trump administration’s determination to escalate its trade war with China even as companies complain about the rising costs of tariffs and financial markets continue to be nervous about the global economic fallout.

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