Donald Trump says the US will impose tariffs on more Chinese imports if President Xi Jinping boycotts the looming G20 summit.
He threatened the escalation in an interview with US-based business channel CNBC, declaring that additional tariffs would come into effect immediately.
President Trump told the broadcaster he would tax the remaining Chinese goods currently not affected by the trade war if his Chinese counterpart did not meet him for talks – expected during the G20 meeting in Japan at the end of June.
He has previously threatened to target $300bn of Chinese imports not already covered by the trade war.
The US raised tariffs just last month on $200bn of goods after accusing Beijing of pulling back from commitments agreed in trade talks – scuppering hopes of a deal to end the stand-off.
It has been blamed by organisations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for curtailing demand in the wider world economy.
Mr Trump’s protectionist agenda, which has also included fights with Canada and the EU, was on course to be extended to Mexico this week but he pulled back on imposing tariffs on all Mexican imports after the US neighbour met his demands to curtail migration.
A meeting between President Trump and President Xi late last year was credited with driving the peace agenda forward.
Commenting on the prospect of a breakthrough in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, Mr Trump spoke of his hopes that his Chinese counterpart would attend the G20.
He told CNBC, “I think he’ll go”, and that he would be surprised if Mr Xi did not show up.
The president said he has “a great relationship” with Mr Xi, adding that “he’s actually an incredible guy”.
China has yet to confirm President Xi’s attendance.