President Trump stood fast by his decision to implement 10 percent tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of goods coming into the U.S. from China on Thursday, saying the pain will continue for Beijing until an agreement is struck.
“Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Cincinnati.
The U.S. announced the latest round of tariffs as negotiations between the world’s two largest economies have stalled – and as U.S. representatives returned home from meeting with the delegation in Shanghai. Trump said earlier on Thursday that China decided to renegotiate the deal before signing, and had agreed to buy more agricultural products from the U.S. – but has yet to follow through on that promise.
And 10 percent could just be the beginning, Trump warned. He told reporters on Thursday that he could "always do much more" or he could "do less" with respect to tariffs, depending on what happens with the trade negotiations. He added the 10 percent rate could be lifted in stages to "well beyond 25 percent," though his administration is not necessarily looking to do that.
The U.S. has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. The new round is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1.
In reaction to the tariffs, Chinese sources exclusively told FOX Business that the directive in Beijing is to “decouple” from its reliance on the U.S. economy. When it comes to intellectual property, U.S. representatives were told that they would have to trust that China would honor its promise to protect it – but the U.S. wants an enforceable deal.
Trump also said that because China devalues their currency and “pours money into their system,” Americans aren’t paying for the tariffs; the Chinese are instead.
The president has noted on Twitter that this round of tariffs could hit large U.S. corporations like Apple. He told companies on Thursday to make their products in the U.S. if they don’t want to be impacted.
Trump sounded an optimistic note about trade discussions earlier in the day, classifying the dialogue as "positive" and the future as "very bright." The White House said negotiations will continue in Washington next month.