U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth Chinese imports, which would cover virtually all the goods China imports to the United States.
The potential tariffs would come on top of punitive levies on $50 billion in Chinese goods already in place, as well as tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods that Trump says “could take place very soon.”
He told reporters traveling with him to Fargo, North Dakota, on Friday that “behind that, there’s another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want.”
“That changes the equation,” he added.
Such a move would subject virtually all U.S. imports from China to new duties.
The president’s comments came one day after a public comment period ended on his proposal to add duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that the Trump administration would evaluate the public comments before making any decisions on the new proposed tariffs.
The U.S. trade representative’s office received nearly 6,000 comments during seven days of public hearings on the proposal.
The Trump administration has argued that tariffs on Chinese goods will force China to trade on more favorable terms with the United States. It has demanded that China better protect American intellectual property, including ending the practice of cybertheft. The Trump administration has also called on China to allow U.S. companies greater access to Chinese markets and to cut its U.S. trade surplus.
China has retaliated against the U.S. tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports with import taxes on an equal amount of U.S. goods. It has also threatened to retaliate against any new tariffs. However, China’s imports from the United States are worth $200 billion a year less than American imports from China, so it would run out of room to match U.S. sanctions.