If China and the U.S. are unable to strike a trade deal soon, President Trump is threatening to impose an additional round of tariffs on Beijing, raising the total worth of Chinese imports that would be taxed to $500 billion.
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“The tariffs are – well, in fact, It could go up to $500 [billion], frankly, if we don’t make a deal, and they want to make a deal,” Trump said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “I will tell you, China wants to make a deal, and so do I, but it’s got to be a fair deal for this country.”
Already, the White House has imposed a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing ‘industrially significant technologies” in an escalating, tit-for-tat conflict between the world’s two largest economies.
In response, China slapped tariffs worth $34 billion on 545 American goods. In mid-June, Trump warned that if Beijing went through with the tariffs, he would impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of goods.
It was the latest in a series of tariffs imposed by the president in early February. The White House had initially announced tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – arguing they would protect U.S. companies and allow for the creation of new manufacturing plants, one of Trump’s main promises during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump has argued that tariffs will eliminate the $370 billion trade deficit with China and stop Beijing’s theft of American intellectual property, which he has said costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year. In May, China agreed to “significantly reduce” the deficit by increasing the amount of American goods it buys.
China isn’t the only country that’s been targeted by the Trump administration. The European Union, Canada and Mexico were included in the first round of aluminum and steel tariffs, and responded by imposing their own tariffs on American products.
“The European Union is possibly as bad as China just smaller, OK,” Trump said. “It’s terrible what they did to us.”
President Trump’s full interview with Maria Bartiromo will air Monday, July 2, during “Mornings with Maria” at 6 a.m. ET.