President Trump is asking the U.S. trade representative to consider adding $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, calling it “unfair” for China to have retaliated against Trump’s initial tariffs by slapping massive tariffs on $50 billion worth of US goods.
“Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Thursday night. “In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs. I have also instructed the Secretary of Agriculture, with the support of other members of my Cabinet, to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.”
Mr. Trump said he is “committed to enabling American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field around the world” and “will never allow unfair trade practices to undermine American interests.”
The White House on Tuesday imposed a $50 billion tariff package on Beijing, to which China responded by announcing $50 billion in tariffs of its own. That’s on top of the 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum the White House previously announced.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to assert that the U.S. is “not in a trade war with China.”
He has previously called trade wars “good, and easy to win.”
World Trade Organization director-general Roberto Azevêdo warned last month that the world is at risk of a trade war and deep recession because of President Trump’s announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel on 10 percent on aluminum.
“It is clear that we now see a much higher and real risk of triggering an escalation of trade barriers across the globe,” he said at a meeting of the whole WTO membership. “We cannot ignore this risk and I urge all parties to consider and reflect on this situation very carefully.
“Once we start down this path, it will be very difficult to reverse direction. An eye for an eye will leave us all blind and the world in deep recession. We must make every effort to avoid the fall of the first dominoes.”