April 6 (UPI) — President Donald Trump said Thursday he is considering an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs against China for unfair trade practices.
Trump’s announcement comes a day after the United States announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods including electronics, aerospace and machinery products, to which China responded by implementing its own tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods.
“Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Trump said Thursday. “In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate.”
Trump also said he instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a plan to protect U.S. farmers and agricultural interests.
On March 22, Trump signed a presidential order to impose tariffs on $60 billion of imported Chinese products to stem “economic aggression” by Beijing a Section 301 trade investigation launched last summer that found Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property is costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
Those tariffs followed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariffs on foreign-made aluminum targeting multiple countries including China.
China responded to those measures by imposing tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods including a 15 percent tariff on items such as fresh fruit and wine and a 25 percent tariff on other goods such as pork and aluminum.
Fears of a trade war between the United States and China have had a negative effect on the stock market, contributing to a 458.92-point dip in the Dow Jones industrial average on Monday.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called for talks to end the trade war Wednesday, saying the “door to dialogue” between the two countries remains open.
Trump delivered a similar sentiment, calling for trade barriers between the United States and China to be taken down.
“The United States is still prepared to have discussions in further support of our commitment to achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade and to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people,” Trump said.