China will have to make a trade deal with the US, or face even higher tariffs, US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, speaking to reporters at a cabinet meeting.
"China is going to have to make a deal I like. If they don't, that's it," the president said.
"If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise tariffs even higher," Trump said.
Trump added that he was "very happy" with the current state of negotiations, which he said were "moving along."
The two economic giants reported last month that they had come to an agreement a 'phase one' trade deal to end their year-and-a-half long trade dispute, but have yet to sign any agreement publicly. Trump has said he would like to see a deal signed somewhere in the US by himself and President Xi of China.
In his remarks Tuesday, Trump said "we will see what happens" regarding the potential trade deal.
Trump also commented on the ongoing public impeachment hearings, saying that he had watched "a bit" of Tuesday's televised hearings, but adding that he would let the American people make their own judgement about the proceedings.
The US-China trade spat began in the spring of 2018, when the US slapped tariffs on tens of billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods in a bid to redress the US's massive trade deficit with the Asian industrial power. Since then, the dispute has escalated to affect hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods, including virtually the entirety of Chinese goods coming into the US.
Earlier this month, US and Chinese officials reported making substantial progress on a deal, including a "consensus of principles." Last week, President Trump indicated that China needed a trade deal with the US much more than the other way around, suggesting the country's Q3 economic performance, including a GDP growth rate of 'just' 6 percent, was "the worst year they've had in 57 years." Trump added that he "didn't care" if a deal was done if it wasn't "the right deal" for the United States.