Trump threatens extra tariffs on US$200b of Chinese goods

US President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies quickly escalated.
Security guards walk in front of containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, on April 24, 2018.
Security guards walk in front of containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, on April 24, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump threatened on Monday (June 18) to impose a 10 per cent tariff on US$200 billion (S$270 billion) of Chinese goods, escalating a tit-for-tat trade war with Beijing.

Trump said in a statement he had asked the US trade representative to identify the Chinese products to be subject to the new tariffs.

He said the move would be in retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on US$50 billion in US goods.

"After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced," Trump said

Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed towards open trade conflict after negotiations failed to resolve US complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a US$375 billion US trade deficit.

On Friday (June 15), Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 per cent tariff on US$50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind. 

The Chinese response clearly angered Trump.

“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong,” he said.  

Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest US move, “we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another US$200 billion of goods."