President Donald Trump ordered Administration officials to consider imposing an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, according to Bloomberg.
The announcement heightened concerns the two nations are heading toward a trade war. The move could unravel efforts by officials from both countries to take the rhetoric down a notch and come together to negotiate an agreement that averts a trade war.
A Trump statement issued by the White House says, “In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I (Trump) have ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion in additional tariffs would be appropriate under Section 301, as well as identify which products to impose the tariffs on.” A White House official says the number Trump quoted is the total value of imports that would be covered by the additional tariffs, not the total amount of tax that would be charged on Chinese products.
China’s state news agency says Beijing vows to defend itself against U.S. actions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer followed Trump’s announcement of possible additional tariffs by saying none of them would take effect right away. Trade Adviser Robert Kudlow and other officials spent multiple days trying to quiet fears of a possible trade war with China.