US President Donald Trump has ordered to kick-start the process of cranking up tariffs on “all remaining Chinese goods” worth $300 billion. That is in addition to a fresh 15 percent tariff hike on $200 billion worth of imports.
In a statement Friday, Trump’s chief trade negotiator Robert E. Lighthizer announced that the US eyes increasing import tariffs on virtually all Chinese goods.
Earlier on Thursday, the US increased tariffs on some $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent as the negotiations over the trade deal stalled after Bejiing reportedly walked back on some of the terms of the draft agreement.
As the high-level US-China trade talks that kicked off on Thursday ended on Friday with no breakthrough, Lighthizer said that Trump decided to slap tariffs on additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.
“The President also ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China,” he stated.
Although the Chinese and the US sides seem to be miles away from thrashing out a deal, Trump appears not concerned with the negotiations hitting a brick wall.
Ahead of the final round of talks on Friday, Trump tweeted that tariffs “are much easier and quicker to do” than a traditional deal, arguing that the US might be better off without one.
“Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind,” he said.
Summarizing the outcome of two-day talks in the US capital late Friday, Trump struck an optimistic note, calling the negotiations “candid and constructive” and his relationship with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “a very strong one.”
The US president did not rule out that he might reverse the 15 percent hike, depending on the outcome of the future negotiations.