President Donald Trump on Friday said that tariffs on Chinese goods are still set to go into effect Sunday despite facing backlash from a number of companies.
The U.S. government will begin collecting 15% tariffs on $112 billion in Chinese imports starting Sept. 1.
Speaking to reporters before departing the White House Friday evening, Trump said a meeting on trade between U.S. and Chinese officials set for September was still scheduled. Trump also said U.S. officials are currently having conversations with their Chinese counterparts on trade.
Chinese and U.S. trade negotiating teams are maintaining effective communication, China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The tariff war now involves hundreds of billions of dollars of each country's goods and threatens global economic growth. Uncertainty about when or how it could end has roiled markets and complicated corporations' long-term investment plans.
More than 160 industry groups have written a letter to the president, asking him to postpone the tariff increase on Chinese goods scheduled to take place this year.
However, on Friday Trump insisted the tariffs will continue as planned. He also criticized the tariffs China has set in place which he said have devalued their currency.
"It's a bad situation they've put themselves in," he said.
Trump also commented on media reports about the departure of his personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout, who was let go after reportedly sharing confidential information about his family with reporters
"She called me, she was very upset," he said. "She was very down and she said she was drinking a little bit and she was with reporters and everything she said was off the record but that still doesn't really cover for her ... [She] mentioned a couple of things about my children but she's a very good person. I always felt she did a good job."
Information from Reuters was included in this report.