The Trump administration may raise the proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25%, sources told Bloomberg, as the two sides continue to show reluctance in restarting negotiations.
The president asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to up the tariff figure to 25% from the previous 10%, one source said, which will be proposed in a Federal Register notice in the next few days. This will by no means be a final decision, however, since the $200 billion plans must still undergo a public comment period and public hearings at the end of this month.
The sources also said that representatives of the US Treasury Secretary and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are in talks on possible routes back to the negotiating table. However, there have been no formal signs of progress on this front from senior officials, with each country often accusing the other of obstinacy.
“China and the US have had several rounds of consultations and reached important consensus, but regrettably the US did not fulfill its obligations,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday. “Nor did it make concerted efforts with China.”