Trump warns of tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports

Geraldine Edwards
September 8, 2018

China said it is ready to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60bn worth of U.S. goods if that happens.

His comments contradict the more diplomatic remarks earlier on Friday from his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow who said talks with Beijing are continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found.

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on $50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

But he told reporters travelling with him to Fargo, North Dakota that "behind that, there's another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want". Trump latest tariffs threats, if he follows through, would more than cover the value of all goods the United States buys from China, according to U.S. government data from a year ago.

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While China's response to USA demands has been unsatisfactory, Trump is still speaking to Xi, and would be open to meeting in person, said Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council. The US imported $505 billion of Chinese products in 2017, Census Bureau figures show.

The tariffs would potentially hurt USA companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods over the past few months, escalating a trade war between the two countries.

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Retailers had successfully kept high-profile consumer electronics such as mobile phones and television sets off of previous tariff lists.

"The Chinese aren't paying these tariffs, American families are going to pay these tariffs".

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met United States requests.

The United States has demanded that China better protect American intellectual property, cut its US trade surplus, allow USA companies greater access to its markets and roll back its high-technology industrial subsidy programs.

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"It's never too late to make good trade policy", said Kudlow.

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