Pres. Trump: Ready to tax an additional $267B in Chinese imports

Implementing both sets of tariffs would subject virtually all USA imports from China to new duties as the world's two largest economies escalate their trade war over Trump's demands that Beijing make major economic policy changes.

"The $200bn we are talking about could take place very soon depending on what happens with them", Mr Trump said, in comments made on Air Force One, as he travelled from Montana to South Dakota.

"To a certain extent it's going to be up to China", he said. "That changes the equation".

The $200 billion list, which includes some consumer products such as cameras and recording devices, luggage, handbags, tires and vacuum cleaners, would be subject to tariffs of 10 percent to 25 percent.

The Trump administration began imposing a series of tariffs on goods from China this summer, but up until now, consumer electronics have been left off the list.

There's no final decision on that round of tariffs as the U.S. Trade Representative's office continues to "run their process", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said on Friday.

Apple laid out the impact on its products of the Trump administration's proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in an unsigned letter it submitted on Wednesday to US officials as part of a public comment period.

If the administration follows through with this latest round, tariffs would apply to a total of $517 billion of imports from China.

The presidential tweet was the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.

Trump seems eager to reach the point where the United States can outgun China on tariffs, because we import so much more than they do. Last year, the US imported $505 billion in goods from China.

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt US companies and USA consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies".

The company noted it spent US$50 billion with 9,000 United States suppliers in its most recent fiscal year, including Texas-based chip firm Finisar Corp and Kentucky-based Corning Inc.

Mr Trump appears to be ignoring calls from American industry to take his foot off the tariff pedal.

Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce, said the United States is handling relations with China in an extremely high-pressure and irrational manner. Intel Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and others argued in their filings that the tariffs could hamper USA competitiveness in 5G, an emerging wireless technology the White House has set up as critical to national security.

The trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies shows little sign of abating, roughly two months after the USA imposed its first round of tariffs on Chinese goods, and negotiations to defuse the tensions have stalled. That would mean penalties cover nearly all goods from China sold to the United States.

  • Eleanor Harrison