The US President Donald Trump says he is ready to intensify his trade war with China by increasing tariffs on all $500bn of imports from the country.” He said “I’m ready to go to 500” in an interview with CNBC.
Last week, Washington listed $200bn (£150bn) worth of additional Chinese products it intends to place tariffs on as soon as September.It is still under public consultation, to last until the end of August.
The President has also been complaining that a strengthening dollar has been hurting US business.In some of his tweets he blames the higher dollar on currency “manipulation” by China and the European Union. He also criticizes the US Federal Reserve for raising interest rates.
The US and China have already imposed tariffs of $34bn on each other’s goods. The President threat to raise that to $500bn represents a major escalation.Mr Trump told CNBC “We’re down a tremendous amount,”during an interview.
The US also wants China to stop practices that allegedly encourage transfer of intellectual property, design and product idea, to Chinese companies, such as requirements that foreign firms share ownership with local partners to access the Chinese market.
The President has previously hinted at such an escalation, telling reporters two weeks ago that there was “$300bn in abeyance” after the $200bn of goods covered by the latest list, but this is his most explicit threat yet.