Alwaght- President Donald Trump has instructed his aides to proceed with tariffs on about another $200 billion of Chinese goods, bringing Washington on the verge of the greatest escalation in trade war with Beijing yet.
According to Bloomberg News, Trump directed aides to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, adding to the already $50 billion in place. The timing for activating the additional tariffs was unclear.
And the announcement follows his threat last week to impose another $267 billion on China’s exports to the US.
“I hate to say this, but behind that there is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want,” Trump said on September 7.
The green light for the tariffs initially dragged U.S. stocks lower, fueled drops in the Chinese yuan in offshore trading CNH=EBS and gains in the dollar index .DXY.
The Trump administration has demanded that China cut its $375 billion trade surplus with the US.
Trump’s move also comes at an inopportune time. Washington and Beijing were planning another round of talks on ways to end the trade spat. It’s possible, though, that the new tariffs will derail any chance of striking a deal in the near future.
Many of the tariffs Trump imposed so far have mostly targeted high-tech Chinese products to put economic pressure on Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” program — a Chinese government initiative to transform the country into an advanced manufacturing powerhouse, in areas like biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles.
Adding in the $200 billion list and another $267 billion of Chinese goods, total imports from China facing tariffs would exceed the $505 billion in goods that the United States imported from China last year. But 2018 imports from China through July were up nearly 9 percent over the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data.