U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his trade-war threats with China on Friday, threatening to impose tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods.
Trump Announces More Tariffs to Retaliate China's Retaliation
"I hate to do this, but behind that, there is another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want," Trump told reporters, from Air Force One. The U.S. head of state stated that tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods would "take place very soon."
China countered the U.S. president’s initial threat, saying that tariffs would be placed on US$60 billion worth of goods from the North American country - which translates to almost all U.S. goods sent to China.
"News that the U.S. is considering tariffs on an additional US$267 billion of imports from China underscores our view that the trade conflict will remain in an escalatory cycle as the two sides are at a fundamental impasse," Michael Zezas, Morgan Stanley's chief US public policy strategist, said.
Last year, the United States imported about US$505 billion worth of goods from China and if Trump’s threats are actualized an estimated US$517 billion worth of goods will be slapped with tariffs.
The United States and China have been trading barbs since March, following Washington’s accusation of intellectual property theft leading to a subsequent promise to levy US$50 million-worth of Chinese goods.
Economists forecast a disruption to the economy and increases in the cost of goods for U.S. consumers if the tariffs are carried out.
"Twenty-five years ago, there were over two dozen weaving mills in the U.S. making the woven textiles that we use as our raw materials. Now, we're down to just one mill," Mark Berman, the CEO of Rockland Industries, told NPR.
"We absolutely must buy our raw materials in China because they are not sufficiently available in the U.S. or even in other countries."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce agreed that tariffs pose a grave threat to the U.S. economy, adding that direct negotiations with China are the best approach.