President Trump could hit China with comprehensive tariffs as soon as next week, according to an Associated Press report.
The AP report says that up to $60 billion in Chinese imports could be affected, something the U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes as “devastating.” Consumers could notice price hikes in a number of imported products — how much of a price increase and on how many products has yet to be determined.
The goal of the tariffs would be to address the United State’s large trade deficit with China. The U.S. has directed China to “develop a plan” to diminish that deficit by at least $100 million. Tariffs are apparently how the Trump administration wants to reduce it in the short term, as the AP report says both Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and advisor Peter Navarro want the trade barriers implemented.
Even Trump’s new economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, who severely criticized Trump’s proposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, is backing a “tough response” to China, the AP says.
The AP notes that Kudlow told CNBC this week, “The United States could lead a coalition of large trading partners and allies against China.”
The hefty aluminum and steel tariffs divided the Republican Party, with House and Senate GOP leaders strongly opposed to the trade barriers.
China could respond to any U.S. tariffs, with a similar trade tax of its own, specifically singling out U.S. products that are significant to Americans in an economic and political sense.