President Donald Trump is threatening to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports, beginning September 1. Trump tweeted Thursday that he will add a new tariff on $300 billion of Chinese-made products, effectively adding a tax on all Chinese goods coming into the United States.
“Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of products coming from China into our country,” he tweeted. “We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing,” he wrote.
Trump said China reneged on a previous commitment to buy more agricultural products from the U.S. as well as halting exports of Chinese-made fentanyl, a potentially lethal opioid, claiming that “many Americans continue to die.”
U.S. and China trade officials ended their most recent negotiations with few signs of progress, though agreed to reconvene in September. Just last year, Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on roughly $250 billion in Chinese-made goods, targeting industrial materials and components. However, the new tariffs set to take effect Sept. 1 would begin taxing goods such as iPhones and other consumer electronics, sneakers and toys.
After Trump’s last meeting In June with his counterpart Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Japan, the president said he’d put off imposing new tariffs indefinitely, which temporarily eased fears of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
“I promised that, for at least the time being, we’re not going to be lifting tariffs on China,” Trump said at the time. “We won’t be adding an additional tremendous amount of — we have, I guess, $350 billion left, which could be taxed or it could be tariffed. And we’re not doing that.”
However, his new tariffs seem to say otherwise. American trade negotiators say China forces U.S. companies to reveal trade secrets, steals intellectual property and unfairly subsidizes Chinese technology companies. Though a variety of key U.S. industries, including tech, retail and transportation companies, warn that a trade fight with China could increase the prices for consumers, while also diminishing domestic economic growth.