President Trump Quadruples Tariffs on Chinese Imports06/19/2018
The odds of a full-blown trade war with China increased Monday night when President Donald Trump announced he was upping the threat of tariffs on Chinese goods by an additional $200 billion.
Trump first announced his plan on Friday to hit China with $50 billion worth of tariffs to punish the country for intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. Soon afterward, China announced that it would retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. agriculture commodities and seafood products.
Angered over the retaliation, Trump announced that he has ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify the new $200 billion worth of Chinese products for a 10 percent tariff.
“The initial tariffs that the President asked us to put in place were proportionate and responsive to forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft by the Chinese,” Lighthizer said in a separate statement. “It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices, China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. At the President’s direction, USTR is preparing the proposed tariffs to offset China’s action.”
Most of the original $50 billion in U.S. tariffs ($34 billion) are set to go into effect on July 6. It’s unclear how long it would take to put in place the additional tariffs. Lighthizer said that he will start a process on choosing the new goods to be penalized and it will be open to the public for comment.
It’s also unclear if China will match the additional $200 billion in tariffs.