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Donald Trump sets sights on increased China tariffs and may tax more than US$500 billion in Chinese goods as trade war rages on
US President Donald Trump (seen on November 20) has said he is likely to go through with his threatened increase in tariffs on Chinese goods, and may also add further taxes to the currently untaxed products. Photo: Abaca Press via TNS
 
US President Donald Trump on Monday repeated his threat to increase tariffs sharply on a wide swathe of China’s imports to the US and warned of similar measures on the remainder of goods from the country.
 
Trump is “highly unlikely” to stand down from his vow to raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent, he told The Wall Street Journal, adding that he would apply tariffs of 10 per cent or 25 per cent to the remaining US$267 billion.
 
“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” he said. That would bring the total amount of taxed goods to more than US$500 billion.
 
On September 17, Trump vowed to tax every single import coming from China if it retaliated against his tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs were levied at 10 per cent and scheduled to rise to 25 per cent on January 1 if Beijing did not meet US demands for greater market access in China for US products and companies.
 
Beijing struck back immediately afterwards with tariffs on US$60 billion worth of American imports, but Trump did not escalate the standoff.
 
Trump’s latest comments come four days before a planned summit with China’s President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leader’s meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where industries impacted by the trade war are hoping China will offer concessions that will halt further punitive measures by Trump.
 
“The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States,” Trump said, according to the Journal. “As far as other countries are concerned, that’s up to them.”
 
Trump also said in the interview that Apple’s iPhones and laptop computers imported from China might be subject to tariffs if he is not satisfied with what Xi brings to the table at G20.
 
The administration kept those insulated from the trade war out of concern that consumers would not want to bear the extra costs. But Trump appears to be reassessing that protection.
 
“Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” the Journal quoted Trump as saying about mobile phones and laptops. “I mean, I can make it 10 per cent, and people could stand that very easily.
 
“What I’d advise is for them to build factories in the United States and to make the product here,” he said. “And they have a lot of other alternatives.”

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