The U.S. will proceed with $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, according to a report on Friday, a move that reignites a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
U.S. President Donald Trump met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, the report said, adding the president instructed his aides to proceed with the tariffs, according to Bloomberg news.
Trump’s decision to impose the additional tariffs come despite signals from Washington earlier this week to restart trade negotiations with Beijing.
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed Wednesday that Mnuchin extended an invite to Chinese officials for a new round of talks.
Yet, Trump said Thursday via Twitter: “We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing. We will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home.”
News of the decision to proceed with tariffs caused stocks in New York to decline. The Dow Jones fell as much as 87 points in mid-day trading, while the S&P 500 was down as low as 9 points, and the Nasdaq was off 42 points.
The Trump administration said last week it was ready to implement $200 billion on China, after the public comment period of that expired last Thursday.
Trump said, “there’s another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want.”
With $50 billion tariffs already imposed, the total amount of tariffs against China would climb to $517 billion — slightly more than U.S.’s imports from China last year which stood at $505 billion.
China, meanwhile, will look for permission from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose sanctions on the U.S. next Friday, according to the WTO’s meeting agenda.