United States President Donald Trump on Friday raised tariffs on almost all Chinese imports, reported AFP.
Earlier, the US president increased import duty from 10% to 25% on Chinese goods worth $200 billion. The total tariffs now amount to about $300 billion, PTI reported.
Trump has ordered his top officials to begin the process, said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, adding that the details will be available on Monday.
Trump’s latest orders come after trade talks were held between delegations headed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. During the two-day trade talk, Washington and Beijing failed to reach an agreement, reported BBC.
Trump, however, described the talks as candid and constructive. “The relationship between President Xi and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations into the future will continue,” he tweeted. “In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!”
Trump justified increasing the tariffs, and said it will bring more wealth. “Our Farmers will do better, faster, and starving nations can now be helped,” he tweeted. “Waivers on some products will be granted, or go to new source!”
Trump claimed the US has lost $500 billion annually for several years for “crazy trade” with China. “If we bought 15 Billion Dollars of Agriculture from our Farmers, far more than China buys now, we would have more than 85 Billion Dollars left over for new Infrastructure, Healthcare, or anything else. China would greatly slow down, and we would automatically speed up!” he tweeted.
After Trump had announced the initial tariff raise, China had warned the US of retaliation. “China deeply regrets this, and will be forced to take necessary countermeasures if the US side puts the tariff measures into effect,” the Chinese government had said.
China and the US have imposed tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade since last year. However, Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping came to an agreement in December 2018 to stop further escalation. Trump had accused Beijing of indulging in unfair trade practices.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde had expressed concern on Tuesday over fresh trade tensions between the two countries. She said the tensions are a “threat to the world economy”.