Trump Considers $100b More Tariffs on China Goods
President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had instructed U.S. trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, again intensifying up tensions with Beijing.
Trump said in a statement the further tariffs were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against earlier U.S. trade actions that included $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.
In a statement, Trump said the U.S. Trade Representative had determined that China “has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.”
Financial markets have swung wildly over the past few days in response to fears of escalating trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.
U.S. stock index futures fell in reaction to Trump’s latest statement.
Before the latest announcement, U.S. lawmakers had reacted with mounting concern on Thursday over the threat to the American agricultural sector from the trade confrontation with China. President Donald Trump upped the ante late Thursday with a threat to slap tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese exports. That prompted the Chinese government to warn it’s willing to take “new comprehensive measures” in response.But China faces a problem: it ships far more goods to the United States ($505 billion last year) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion). That leaves the US government with a lot more Chinese exports to potentially target with tariffs.
If China “were to try and respond in kind, there would not be enough US goods to tariff,” said Alex Wolf, an emerging markets economist at fund manager Aberdeen Standard Investments.