US Weighing Further Increases In Tariffs On Chinese Goods
The proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods may be raised from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to US President Donald Trump’s administration. The duties could take effect after the administration draws up its revised, final list of imports that will be affected by the tariffs. Hearings on the matter are scheduled for Aug. 20 to 23 and the comment period will last until Sept. 5.
Last month, the administration released a list of thousands Chinese products that would have an additional 10 percent in tariffs levied on them. That list included a wide range of items, including television components, seafood, and handbags. The administration has already begun to charge 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods and another $16 billion could be added in the coming days or weeks.
China immediately retaliated in-kind, placing new tariffs on some imports from the US. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the U.S. further increase tariffs. At a press conference, an agency spokesman said, “If the U.S. takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests.”
President Trump reportedly asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider hiking the tariffs to increase pressure on China to change its trade practices. According to a senior administration official, who declined to be named, there was no particular action taken by China that led to the president’s recommendation. Last month, Trump said that he’s willing to impose tariffs on every good imported from China.
In a statement, Lighthizer said, “The Trump Administration continues to urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition. We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake. Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.” China responded that it would strike back at every escalation.