President Donald Trump said Friday he’s poised to slap additional tariffs on $267 billion in Chinese goods, widening a trade war between the two countries.
The president, speaking to reporters en route to Fargo, North Dakota, said he was ready to roll out even more tariffs on short notice, if he wants.
The fresh tariff threat would be in addition to the $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods the Trump administration is considering, which Trump said “will take place place very soon depending on what happens.”
“I hate to do this, but behind that there is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want,” Trump said. “That totally changes the equation.”
The administration has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump has said the tariffs are necessary to punish Beijing for what he says are its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
China, which has accused the United States of trade bullying, has matched the tariffs dollar for dollar.
Businesses have been awaiting to see when the next round of $200 billion in tariffs would kick in, with many anticipating an announcement on Friday.
The public had until Thursday to comment on the administration’s proposal. It’s unclear whether the new tariff will be set at 10% or 25%.
Many American business owners say the tariffs are hurting their companies. They have to decide whether to pay the tariff on an imported good or find a new supplier outside China.
Yet another round of tariffs on $267 billion in goods would bring the total imports from China subject to tariffs to more than $500 billion. That’s roughly the same as the $505 billion in goods that the US imported from China last year.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned earlier on Friday that China may find themselves more isolated if trade talks with the US fall apart.
“I think the Chinese, you know, may find themselves more isolated if they don’t come into the global process and if they don’t provide new information and begin to say yes to the asks of President Trump,” said Kudlow on CNBC’s Squawk Box.