President Donald Trump will hike tariff rates on most imports from China in response to the latest shots in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, he said. The White House will raise existing duties on $250 billion in Chinese products to 30% from 25% on Oct. 1, the president tweeted. The tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods, which start to take effect on Sept. 1, will now be 15% instead of 10%, he added. In a series of tweets, the president said he would increase the pressure on Beijing as part of his long-held goal to force China to change what he calls unfair trade practices. Trump has fired more shots in the trade war as he seeks a sweeping trade deal with Beijing — even as the tariffs threaten global economic growth.
“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer,” he tweeted . “As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!”
What has Trump announced?
In a series of Friday evening tweets, Mr Trump said the US would raise its tariffs on $250bn of Chinese imports from 25% to 30% starting on 1 October. He also said planned tariffs on $300bn of other Chinese goods will now be 15% instead of 10%. President Trump unveiled the 10% tariff plan on 1 August – blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products. Those tariffs, imposed on items like electronics and clothing, were expected to be introduced at the beginning of September but some have been delayed until mid-December to avoid hitting US Christmas shoppers. The latest developments in the trade war have sent global financial markets tumbling.
Trump met with his trade policy team at the White House during the day before announcing the tariff increases. At least one trade advisor — China hawk Peter Navarro — has generally supported the trade war escalations. Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement that Trump is “right to fight back” against China, though the conflict has caused damage to U.S. consumers and Iowa farmers. “The only way to end this trade war is for China to come to the table and negotiate seriously on an enforceable deal that ends its bad behavior and unfair trade practices. In the meantime, tariffs cannot be the only negotiating tool. Tariffs are not a long-term solution,” Grassley said.
As stocks rolled lower during the afternoon, Trump appeared to make a joke about the market drop. A president who spent recent days deflecting any concerns about a slowing economy suggested Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton’s exit from the 2020 presidential race hit markets.