US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that his administration intends to go ahead with tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, the most dramatic escalation of the trade war between the two countries since tit-for-tat punitive duties began in July.
Bloomberg News reported Friday that administration officials are discussing using an executive order that authorizes USA officials to impose the sanctions on those taking part in "malicious cyber-enabled activities". "And I hate to say this, but behind that is another $267bn ready to go on short notice if I want".
"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.
The new taxes are in addition to a 25 percent levy on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with which Trump has already threatened China.
A package of tariffs worth $200bn is close to being imposed on Chinese imports to the U.S. and Trump's latest suggested round - which would be worth $267bn - would sharply escalate Trump's trade war with China.
The president's tough line contrasted with remarks earlier from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who left open the possibility of a negotiated solution to the trade dispute, but said China must show it's open to compromise.
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U.S. stocks slipped after Trump's comments, with the S&P 500 off 0.2%, while China's off-shore trade yuan currency fell against the dollar.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Marine One while departing the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2018.
Apple Inc. noted in a letter that the government's proposed tariffs on $200 billion cover a wide range of products used in its USA operations, including the Apple Watch.
The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports equal to almost 40pc of all the goods China sold the United States previous year after a public comment period ends Thursday. The United States buys about 20% of China's exports, but trade has shrunk over the past decade as a share of the Chinese economy.
Retailers had successfully kept high-profile consumer electronics such as mobile phones and television sets off of previous tariff lists. But David French, top lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, whose members include Amazon.com (AMZN.O), BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ.N) and Macy's (M.N), said almost every consumer good could be affected if Trump follows through on all threatened tariffs. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board". "However, hope springs eternal".