President Trump on Monday night upped the ante in his administration’s trade feud with China by ordering U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional 10 percent tariffs.
[Jack Caporal | June 19, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
The announcement was made in response to Beijing’s pledge to hit the U.S. with tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods after Trump last week announced the U.S. was moving forward with its own 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods following a Section 301 investigation into Beijing’s intellectual property and technology transfer policies.
Trump said in a statement that Beijing’s response shows that it “apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.”
“This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods. This is unacceptable,” Trump said. “Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States.”
The additional 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will go into effect “after the legal process is complete” and if “China refuses to change its practices” or “insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” Trump said.