In yet another escalation of President Donald Trump’s dispute over trade with China, Trump announced on Monday evening that he’s directing the U.S. trade representative to look into new tariffs of $200 billion on Chinese goods.
The latest round of tariffs comes in retaliation for China’s announcement that it would respond in kind to previous tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports to the U.S.
The Trump administration is using the threat of new tariffs after its efforts to deter Chinese intellectual property theft were met with retaliation from the Chinese government, according to The Associated Press.
“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” Trump said in a statement Monday. “Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.”
“These tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” he added.
The new round of tariffs, which would be imposed at a rate of 10 percent, extends the tit-for-tat battle between the two countries in what is looking more and more like an all-out trade war.
China’s Commerce Ministry on Tuesday once again condemned the new threat of tariffs on $200 billion of goods, saying it’s an “act of extreme pressure and blackmail that deviates from the consensus reached by both parties after many negotiations, and is a disappointment to the international community.”
“If the U.S. becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality,” the Chinese statement added, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, Wall Street has met the news of new tariffs with caution, fearing an economic slowdown that could come as a result of a trade war. In pre-market trading on Tuesday, the Dow tanked over 350 points after Chinese stocks experienced a similar plunge.
Trump’s announcement came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bashed China’s actions on trade, accusing it of engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny.”
The initial round of penalties announced by both nations is scheduled to take effect on July 6.