Trump threatens China with additional $100bn tariffs
Washington: US President Donald Trump has ratcheted up the trade war rhetoric with China, saying he was considering an additional $100 billion in tariffs on the country, the media reported.
“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate,” CNN quoted the President as saying in a statement late Thursday.
“Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Trump’s statement said.
The President added that he instructed to the USTR also to “identify the products upon which to impose” the additional tariffs.
In responce, USTR Robert Lighthizer called Trump’s request “appropriate”.
Earlier this week, the US announced new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, claiming that Beijing was stealing American intellectual property, CNN reported.
China responded within hours by announcing $50 billion worth of tariffs on US goods.
The moves follow US tariffs that were imposed last month on Chinese steel and aluminium, which also prompted a response from China.
Thursday’s announcement also rattled markets.
Dow futures fell after Trump’s announcement and were down more than 300 points, or about 1.5 per cent in after-hours trading.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately issue a response to the proposed new round of tariffs, CNN reported.
The Chinese government had said earlier this week that it would respond with equal measure to any new duties on its goods.
Trump’s latest threat was met with criticism from members of his own Republican party.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse called the move “the dumbest possible way to do this”.
“Hopefully the President is just blowing off steam again but, if he’s even half-serious, this is nuts… He’s threatening to light American agriculture on fire,” Sasse added.