Trump to announce new China tariffs as early as Monday, says Wall Street Journal

US President Donald Trump is poised to impose new tariffs on a list of Chinese goods, perhaps as early as Monday, a senior administration source has told Reuters.
Trump listening during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington in August 2018.
Trump listening during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington in August 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump plans to announce new tariffs of about US$200 billion (S$270 billion) on Chinese imports as early as Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday (Sept 15).

The tariff level will likely be about 10 per cent, below the 25 per cent announced when the administration first said it was considering this round of tariffs, the newspaper said, quoting people familiar with the matter.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Friday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Trump "has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China's unfair trade practices. We encourage China to address the long-standing concerns raised by the Unites States."

Trump had already directed aides to proceed with tariffs, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's attempts to restart trade talks with China, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. But the timing for activating the additional tariffs was unclear at that time.

The Trump administration is demanding that China cut its US$375 billion trade surplus with the United States, end policies aimed at acquiring US technologies and intellectual property and roll back high-tech industrial subsidies.

The US$200 billion tariff list included various internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards, and consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycles and furniture.

 
 

Earlier this week, Treasury invited senior Chinese officials, including Vice-Premier Liu He, for more talks to try to resolve trade differences between the world's two largest economies.

China's Foreign Ministry said it welcomed the invitation. But Trump later raised questions about it, saying on Twitter that he was under no pressure to make a deal with Beijing and predicting that the United States "will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home. If we meet, we meet?"

The Trump administration has already levied duties on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods following a study on China's intellectual property practices released earlier this year.

Adding in the US$200 billion list and another US$267 billion of Chinese goods, total imports from China facing tariffs would exceed the US$505 billion in goods that the United States imported from China last year.

This year, imports from China through July were up nearly 9 per cent over the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data.