US considers hiking China tariffs to 25 percent

US considers hiking China tariffs to 25 percent
US considers hiking China tariffs to 25 percent

The U.S. is considering increasing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday.

“This week, the President has directed that I consider increasing the proposed level of the additional duty from 10 percent to 25 percent,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

He said President Donald Trump directed him in June to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs of 10 percent and he initiated the process on July 10.

Lighthizer noted that if tariffs are increased to 25 percent, they would be applied to the proposed list of products that were announced on July 10.

“The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the Administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens,” he said.

While talks earlier this week between Beijing and Washington were not fruitful, a decision by the Trump administration to impose tougher tariffs could soften China’s stance or escalate the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

So far, Washington has imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, and tariffs on another $16 billion will come at a later point.

Trump said two weeks ago he is ready to impose tariffs on over $500 billion of Chinese imports.

The U.S. imported $505 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2017 while China imported $130 billion worth of American products, according to the Commerce Department.

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