Reports that the US president regretted escalating the trade war with China have been misinterpreted, according to the White House.

Donald Trump had earlier responded “Sure, why not?” when asked whether he had second thoughts about the move.

The White House said Mr Trump’s answer was “misinterpreted… He regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”

On Friday, Mr Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports, hours after China unveiled plans to increase US duties.

The move was the latest salvo in a bitter tit-for-tat war which has seen the US impose tariffs on more than $250bn (£204bn) of Chinese goods.

In reaction, China has put tariffs on almost all US goods imported into the country.

The seeds of the trade war were planted during Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, when he accused Beijing

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