Trump says tariffs on $200 bil. of Chinese goods will rise to 25%

07, May. 2019

WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Kyodo - U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will increase from 10 percent to 25 percent in the coming days, escalating the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Trump, who made the announcement in a pair of tweets, complained trade talks are proceeding “too slowly” as Beijing tries to renegotiate, while China is reportedly ready to cancel its next trade dialogue with the United States scheduled later this week.

“The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%,” Trump said in the tweets.

“The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China,” Trump tweeted. “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” Trump said.

If Washington slaps higher duties on Chinese products, Beijing is likely to take countermeasures, a development that would further roil world markets and affect global growth.

The social media posts, which hurt Asian stock markets at the beginning of the week, came as the two sides are scheduled to resume negotiations in Washington on Wednesday, the latest in several rounds of talks. The previous round was held last week in Beijing.

A Chinese delegation is preparing to visit the United States, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday in Beijing, expressing willingness to continue trade negotiations with the Trump administration.

Chinese officials have said Beijing would not bend to pressure tactics and would remain committed to its pledge to avoid negotiating under duress by potentially aborting the trip, the U.S. daily reported.

The South China Morning Post, meanwhile, said Monday that Beijing may cut short Vice Premier Liu He's planned trip to Washington this week, citing a source who has been briefed on the latest arrangements.

Liu, Chinese President Xi Jinping's economic advisor and chief trade negotiator, could depart Beijing on Thursday, three days later than previously scheduled, and leave Washington a day later, the source said, according to Hong Kong's English-language newspaper.

Since July last year, the Trump administration, dissatisfied with what it sees as China's unfair trade practices -- including alleged intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and currency devaluation -- has raised tariffs on imported goods from the Asian giant.

In retaliation, China increased tariffs on U.S. imports. The tit-for-tat trade conflict between the world's two largest economies has led to increased concerns for the health of the global economy.

Upon the signing of any potential deal, the Trump administration has stated it plans to maintain tariffs on Chinese imports until Beijing implements commitments it has made, while China has called for their immediate lifting.

Trump and Xi agreed in December to suspend any more tariff hikes, and since then Washington and Beijing have been pursuing an agreement.

At present, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs on a total of $250 billion in Chinese imports -- or about half of the goods the United States imports from China each year -- in response to Chinese companies' alleged intellectual property and technology theft.

Of the total, a 25 percent tariff has been imposed on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and a 10 percent duty on the remainder.

The United States and China have so far agreed to limit Beijing's ability to manipulate the value of its currency for unfair trade advantage.

China has also pledged to buy an additional 10 million tons of American soybeans as part of an effort to reduce the massive trade deficit between the countries. (Kyodo)