President Donald Trump escalated the trade war with China Thursday with a threat to slap another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese exports.
“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate,” the president said in a statement. Dow futures plummeted in response.
In recent weeks, Washington and Beijing have been exchanging shots in an intensifying trade conflict.
Trump announced tough tariffs on steel and aluminum in early March, triggering warnings from Beijing that China would take “necessary measures” to defend Chinese national interests. On April 2, China imposed $3 billion in tariffs on American exports.
The U.S. intends to target Chinese exports to the tune of about $50 billion in response to Chinese theft of American intellectual property and forced technology transfers that erode America’s advantage and cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars a year, the president announced March 22. Washington is preparing to punish industries tied to China’s ambitious Made in China 2025 development strategy.
Beijing immediately responded by threatening to impose $50 billion in tariffs on key American exports, including many linked to states affiliated with Trump’s support base. “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Trump said in his statement.
China has repeatedly vowed to “fight to the end.”
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