Trump Threatens to Ramp Up Chinese Tariffs to 25% This Friday

New York, NY, May 6, 2019-President Trump threatened to drastically ramp up U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports over the weekend, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Flooring imported from China is included among products currently tariffed at the 10% rate. 

The act put an accord in doubt, as Beijing considered pulling out of talks, which are scheduled to begin this week.

“In a pair of Twitter messages Sunday, Mr. Trump wrote he planned to raise levies on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% starting Friday, from 10% currently. He also wrote he would impose 25% tariffs ‘shortly’ on $325 billion in Chinese goods that haven’t yet been taxed.

“‘The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate,’ the president tweeted. ‘No!’

“Mr. Trump’s tweets surprised many Chinese officials, according to a person briefed on the matter Monday, and China is considering canceling trade talks that are to resume in Washington starting Wednesday. There has been widespread expectations in recent days that an accord could be reached by Friday.

“Chinese officials have said Beijing wouldn’t bend to pressure tactics. By potentially scotching the trip, Beijing would be following up on its pledge to avoid negotiating under threat.

“The timing of Mr. Trump’s threat triggered speculation that it was aimed at pressuring China and scoring points domestically.

“The prospect of an escalation of tariffs, which would boost the price of imports ranging from retail items to industrial electronic components, drew immediate fire from U.S. trade groups that import goods from China.

“‘Taxing Americans when they buy furniture, tools, electronics and groceries should have nothing to do with reaching this agreement,’ said a statement from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of U.S. trade associations. ‘This isn’t leverage to get a better deal, it’s taking money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans.’”