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Trump says tariff deal with China is “highly unlikely”

President Trump is saying the U.S. will likely impose new tariffs on China as he prepares to head to the G-20 meeting in Argentina with China’s leader Xi Jinping.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Trump said he expects to move ahead with boosting tariff levels on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent, calling it “highly unlikely” that he would accept Beijing’s request to hold off on the increase.

The 10 percent tariffs on Chinese goods are scheduled to rise to 25 percent Jan. 1.

"If we don't make a deal, then I'm going to put the $267 billion additional on,” Trump said in the interview.

The president also hinted at levying 10 percent tariffs on Apple products from abroad.

That news came as General Motors announced it would idle five North American factories and eliminate 14,000 jobs.

In June, GM slashed its profit outlook for the year because tariffs were driving up production costs and raising prices even on domestic steel, according to The New York Times. Rising interest rates are also generating headwinds, as well as a consumer shift away from small sedans and towards SUVs and pickup trucks.

When Harley-Davidson shifted production from the United States, the company cited the tariffs as being a major component, drawing the ire of the president. GM said there was no one factor that caused the layoffs, but Trump still threatened cutting federal subsidies if the automaker moves forward, according to The Washington Post.

GM said new tariffs imposed on metals imports by Trump have added $1 billion to its costs.

The tariffs leveled on almost half of all imports from China have done little to reverse years of losing manufacturing jobs to Asia, according to the Post. The gap between imports and exports between the United States and China has worsened since Trump took office.

As some American companies struggle with tariffs, The New York Times is reporting today that Mandel Metals, an aluminum distributor outside Chicago, has been granted hundreds of requests from the Trump administration to exclude its imports from the levies.

Mandel has been granted the ability to import up to 600 million pounds of tariff-free aluminum from Greece, Italy, France, Norway and even China.

The Trump administration has granted nearly 3,000 requests that could exempt Chinese-made metal products from the tariffs, according to a congressional analysis shared with The New York Times.

Several boatbuilders have asked the administration for exemptions to the tariffs, but at last check, none had been granted a decision or even given a timeline for a decision.

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