Trump escalates trade war with new tariff threat against China
20 June 2018
President Trump has again escalated the trade war with China, threatening to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of goods, following the Chinese decision to retaliate against the imposition of 25 percent tariffs covering $50 billion of Chinese exports last Friday.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, Trump said he had directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to draw up a list of $200 billion worth of goods for a tariff of 10 percent.
Trump also indicated that he was prepared to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of goods beyond that. In other words, if all the measures were to go ahead, they would cover virtually all the Chinese exports to the US.
The new move, which sent stock markets down yesterday, follows through on the threat by Trump to pursue “additional tariffs” if China engaged in retaliatory actions directed against American exporters or American companies operating in China.
China has said it will impose tariffs on a range of products including agricultural and cars and that commitments to increase the flow of US exports, agreed to in negotiations over the past few weeks, are off the table.
“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” Trump said in a White House statement. The US measures would go ahead “if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs it has recently announced.”
China’s commerce ministry responded with a statement that the threat of additional tariffs was “extreme pressure and blackmail.”
“If the US suffers a loss of rationality and…