President Trump is asking the U.S. trade representative to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, further ratcheting up the possibility of a trade war between two of the world’s largest economic titans.
The Trump administration had announced $50 billion in tariffs on China, to which China responded by announcing $50 billion in tariffs of its own. That’s on top of the 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum the White House previously announced.
Markets reacted negatively to news of additional tariffs, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures falling sharply by about 400 points, or 1.6 percent, following the White House announcement.
"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers," Mr. Trump said in a statement Thursday night. "In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs. I have also instructed the Secretary of Agriculture, with the support of other members of my Cabinet, to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests."
Mr. Trump said he is "committed to enabling American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field around the world" and "will never allow unfair trade practices to undermine American interests."
The president’s announcement also comes after his new top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Wednesday it’s possible the president might not impose tariffs on China after all. Kudlow denied that the U.S. is in a trade war.
Mr. Trump, however, has called trade wars "good, and easy to win."