Washington, Aug 1: US President Donald Trump is now considering a 25 per cent tariff on USD 200 billion in Chinese imports, rather than the 10 per cent previously touted, reports have said.
The US imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on USD 34 billion of Chinese products earlier this month, with plans to add another USD 16 billion of imports yesterday. Trump initially threatened to levy 10 per cent on an additional USD 200 billion but that figure may now rise to 25 per cent, sources told the Washington Post and Bloomberg. It would represent a ramping up of pressure over Washington's trade standoff with Beijing.
In Beijing Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that "blackmail and pressure from the US side will never work on China". "If the US takes measures to further escalate this situation, we will surely take counter-measures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests," he told a regular briefing.
In 2017 the United States had a USD 376 billion trade deficit with China, which it is keen to reduce. Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the US, which amounted to more than USD 500 billion last year.