Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as he leaves trade talks in Washington, May 10, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as he leaves trade talks in Washington, May 10, 2019.

Investors have watched the talks closely. Major U.S. stock indexes dove Friday after the duties went into effect and President Donald Trump said “there is absolutely no need to rush” to strike a deal.

The U.S. aims to address grievances including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and its trade deficits with Beijing. Trump hopes tariffs will force Beijing to sign a deal. But as the trade war widens, it risks damaging the global economy and alienating key voters ahead of Trump’s 2020 releection bid.

Trump dug in and defended his tariff policy on Friday morning before the day’s talks started.

“Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker,” the president tweeted. “Just sit back and watch! In the meantime, China should not renegotiate deals with the U.S. at the last minute.”

It is unclear when Washington and Beijing will start talks about a trade deal again. Trump could put even more pressure on China to agree to terms.

The president has threatened to put 25% tariffs on the $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed.

Investors see the potential for the U.S. and China to reach a deal before the tariffs start hitting companies’ bottom lines. The duties do not apply to goods shipped before May 10. That creates a possible period of up to a few weeks for the sides to possibly avoid escalation.

— CNBC’s Stephanie Dhue contributed to this report.

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