U.S.: Trump proposes additional US$100B tariffs on Chinese products
U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that tariffs on imports of Chinese products may be significantly increased, escalating tensions in what could lead to full-blown trade-war with the Asian country.
Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to "determine if an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs would be appropriate," according to the White House.
The move comes days after China implemented a 15% duty on a range of U.S. products including key fruit and nut exports, in retaliation for the U.S.'s plan to impose tariffs of US$50 billion on Chinese products.
The additional duties on U.S. products apply to numerous horticultural products including apples, cherries, citrus, almonds and pistachios.
"Instead of addressing its misconduct, China has retaliated against American farmers and manufacturers," a White House statement said.
"President Trump has therefore directed USTR to determine if an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs would be appropriate under section 301."
It added that Trump has instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to use his broad authority to implement "a plan to protect American farmers and agriculture."
"In addition to this week’s tariff announcements, USTR has initiated a WTO dispute against China for its unfair practices, is examining potential restrictions on Chinese investment, and is working with allies also affected by China’s unfair behavior to restore fairness to global trade," he said.
This latest development is likely to cause additional concern for the U.S. produce industry. The cherry sector recently told us that the 15% duty would likely limit growth to one of their key markets, while the citrus and apple sectors have also expressed disappointment.