Trump Tells Aids To Proceed With $200 Billion In Tariffs On China

Despite talks with China, Trump instructs aids to place $200 billion in tariffs on China. Another $267 billion on deck.

Sources say Trump Wants $200 Billion in China Tariffs Despite Talks.

Trump met with his top trade advisers on Thursday to discuss the China tariffs, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the people said. Mnuchin has led a recent overture to the Chinese to re-start trade talks.

The public comment period for a list of tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods closed last week, and Trump said the duties would be imposed “soon.” The new round would be in addition to $50 billion in Chinese goods that already face a 25 percent duty. U.S. stocks erased gains on the news.

The Chinese have retaliated with tariffs on an equivalent amount of U.S. exports, and have promised to match future rounds of U.S. duties.

Before his meeting on Thursday, Trump boasted on Twitter that he has the upper hand in the trade feud with Beijing and feels “no pressure” to resolve the dispute.

Damn the Insanity, Full Speed Ahead

Cold Feet?

I commented yesterday Trump Gets Cold Feet on More Tariffs: US Proposes More Talks With China.

My rationale was that Trump was concerned about the midterm elections and he was looking for face-saving way to back off.

Here's more from the Wall Street Journal report U.S. Proposing New Round of Trade Talks With China.

The new outreach to Beijing comes less than a week after Mr. Trump threatened not only to go forward with the planned tariffs but to add another $267 billion, effectively putting duties on all of China’s shipments into the U.S.

On Wednesday, organizations representing thousands of companies in industries including retailing, toy manufacturing, farming and technology said they are cooperating on a lobbying campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland to oppose Mr. Trump’s duties.

Retailers in particular have ramped up warnings that further tariffs, especially those aimed at consumer goods, are threatening to disrupt supplies for the year-end holiday shopping season.

“The tariffs are coming so fast and furiously, they’re giving retailers large and small whiplash,” said Christin Fernandez, vice president for communications for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

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