US President Donald Trump has days to decide whether to impose tariffs on nearly $160 billion in Chinese consumer goods just weeks before Christmas, a move that could be unwelcome in both the United States and China, reported Reuters.
The White House’s top economic and trade advisers, including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to meet in coming days with Trump over that decision. There is still no clarity on what the decision will be.
The way the tariffs are written, the Trump administration has to act, or else they automatically go into effect, trade experts said. “Unless USTR (the US Trade Representative) issues a notice of modification for these tariffs, they will take effect on December 15 as scheduled,” said Tami Overby, senior director at McLarty Associates, a Washington-based trade consultant.
“The reality is those tariffs are still on the table, the Dec. 15 tariffs, and the president has indicated if the short strokes remaining in negotiations do not pan out to his liking that those tariffs could go back into place,” Kudlow said at a conference.