U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to impose a 10 per cent tariff on $200 billion US of Chinese goods, escalating trade tensions with Beijing.
In a statement, Trump said he had asked the U.S. trade representative to identify the Chinese products to be subject to the new tariffs. He said the move would be in retaliation for China’s decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods.
“After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” Trump said.
Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed toward open trade conflict after negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a $375-billion US trade deficit.
On Friday, Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 per cent tariff on $50-billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.
The Chinese response clearly angered Trump.
“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong,” he said.
Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. move, “we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.”