Trump threatens tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods

President Donald Trump elevated trade-war rhetoric with China to a fever pitch on Friday, threatening tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Speaking with reporters on Air Force One, Trump said long-threatened tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would “take place very soon” — with more on the way.

“I hate to do this, but behind that there is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want,” Trump said.

If Trump follows through with both threats, tariffs would be imposed on $517 billion in Chinese goods coming into the US — virtually everything coming from the country. Last year, the US imported $505 billion worth of goods from China.

A White House spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters, told reporters that the US Office of the Trade Representative did not have a time frame and would continue to “run their process” on the set of tariffs on $200 billion of goods.

China threatened to retaliate to that amount with tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, meaning almost all US goods sent to China would be subject to tariffs.

The back-and-forth is the culmination of months of threats and negotiations.

Trump first threatened tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in March in response to US claims of Chinese intellectual-property theft. Since then the two sides have lobbed threats and tariffs in an attempt to get the other side to back down.

Economists argue Trump’s tariffs will cause the cost of goods to increase for US businesses and consumers. That could slow business investment and reduce consumer spending, leading to an economic slowdown. Already, some small US businesses have said the tariffs have prompted them to lay off workers and scale back plans to grow their business.

Michael Zezas, Morgan Stanley’s chief US piublic policy strategist, said the new threat was proof that the trade war threat was not in retreat.

“News that the US is considering tariffs on an additional $267bn of imports from China underscores our view that the trade conflict will remain in an escalatory cycle as the two sides are at a fundamental impasse,” Zezas wrote.

US stock indexes dropped after Friday’s news, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling roughly 140 points, or 0.55%, as of 12:45 p.m. ET.

Here’s a timeline of the US-China trade war so far:

Leave a Reply