China Economic Review

Trump confirms $200 billion in tariffs on China

The trade war between the US and China looks to be shifting up a gear, with President Donald Trump announcing his decision to impose a further $200 billion on the imports of Chinese goods, the Financial Times reports.

The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been given the orders to prepare a list of Chinese imported products to be subjected to the tariffs, with a public notice and comment process running over the next two months before the measures come into effect.

The announcement comes just days after the US signed in 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese industrial goods last Friday, with Beijing instantly applying retaliatory measures. Trump has suggested that he is willing to pursue the trade dispute even up to a total of $500 billion in total tariffs on Chinese imports. The latest duties would be set at a rate of 10%.

“For more than a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition,” said Lighthizer, calling Beijing’s retaliation lacking in “legal basis or justification”.

The announcement has been met with criticism from members of Trump’s own party as well as democratic lawmakers, with many fearing that it will be difficult to expand the scope of the trade war without there being an impact on consumers.