Trump Threatens Tariffs on Another $267 Billion of Chinese Imports

Andrew Cummings
September 8, 2018

"That changes the equation".

While Trump was waving his proverbial stick, Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow made a paltry attempt to offer something of a carrot on Friday, saying that the USA is up for talks and that there is "constant communication".

The US has already imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, and Beijing punched back with an equal amount. The S&P 500's weekly drop was the most since June and Boeing led declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion (206.67 billion pounds) of goods on top of $200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against US companies operating there.

Trump said earlier Friday that his administration could "very soon" impose those tariffs.

The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports equal to almost 40pc of all the goods China sold the United States past year after a public comment period ends Thursday.

Previous talks between Washington and Beijing did not result in an agreement, and it seems the trade war is likely to escalate further at least until the November mid-term elections.

The tariffs would potentially hurt US companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires. Comparatively few applauded the tariffs. "If the US ignores the opposition of these companies, acts arbitrarily and imposes any new tariffs, China will have to take countermeasures".

Trump is getting a last-minute earful from prominent technology companies and retailers as he considers whether to follow through with his plan to ratchet up tariffs on Chinese exports. The administration has asserted that Trump's tariffs would force China to trade on more favorable terms with the United States.

Specifically, Kudlow said, the United States was seeking "zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies, stop the IP theft, stop the technology transfer, allow Americans to own their own companies".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held another day of meetings with Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement, after reaching a deal last week with Mexico.

However, she seemed to have a different position than Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on the relationship between the NAFTA talks and the USA steel and aluminum tariffs.

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