Threatening to upend the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with Chinese negotiators, in a bold move, President Donald Trump threw his biggest punch yet at China, imposing tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and gambling that American consumers are willing to pay more for popular products to wring trade concessions from Beijing.
The Trump’s administration will impose a 10 per cent tariff later this month, increasing to 25 per cent at the end of the year, a move that will sharply escalate the American trade war with Beijing. The administration announced on Monday that the additional tariffs which will take effect from September 24, are on top of penalties enacted earlier this year on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
This makes about half of the $505 billion in goods that Americans buy annually from Chinese firms will face new import levies. Unlike the $50 billion in Chinese products that Trump hit in the first tariff wave in July, which fell mainly on industrial goods, this action will affect consumer products such as air conditioners, spark plugs, furniture and lamps. Trump also threatened to inflict more economic pain in the form of additional tariffs if Beijing takes any retaliatory action.
China has vowed to retaliate for the latest U.S. tariffs with new import taxes on $60 billion in American products. If that happens, the president said, he would immediately begin the process of approving tariffs on a further $267 billion in Chinese imports – effectively taxing everything Americans buy from China.