Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 bln of Chinese imports

Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 bln of Chinese imports

WASHINGTON-Agence France-Presse
Trump threatens tariffs on all $505 bln of Chinese imports

U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview released on July 20 he is willing to hit all Chinese goods imported to the United States with tariffs if necessary.

“I’m ready to go 500,” the Republican leader told the U.S. network CNBC, referring to the $505.5 billion in Chinese imports accepted into the United States in 2017.

“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said.

“We’ve been ripped off by China for a long time,” he added.

After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the United States early this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese mechanical and technological products -- sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back dollar for dollar.

China accused the United States of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.”

A second tranche of $16 billion in products is under review and could soon be added to the U.S. measures.

In the full interview released on July 20 Trump reiterated his claim that the United States is “being taken advantage of” on issues including trade policy.

“I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to do well,” the U.S. president said of China.

“I really like President Xi a lot. But it was very unfair.”

The U.S.-China spat is the largest and broadest of several trade fights picked by Trump.

The growing share of international trade under threat has raised the prospect the escalating trade war could harm the global economy by disrupting companies supply chains, pushing firms to hold off on investments and making goods more expensive for consumers.

In excerpts of the interview released on July 19 Trump had broken with the long-established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve’s decisions out of respect for its independence.

“I’m not thrilled,” Trump told the network in an interview excerpt aired on July 19.

“Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again.”