President Trump announced Monday that he is slapping additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion in Chinese imports and threatened to impose even more levies amid an escalating trade dispute.
A 10 percent tariff will go into effect Sept. 24, the president said in a statement, and increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019. If China retaliates, Mr. Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods.
"Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China," the president announced in a statement. "Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."
Earlier this year, the administration announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, prompting China to retaliate in kind. Monday's announcement means nearly half of all goods imported from China will be subject to tariffs. Mr. Trump said China has been "unfair" for months.
"We have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies," the president said. "We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices."
In a briefing on Monday, administration officials told reporters there is a possibility a Chinese delegation will travel to the U.S. to continue negotiations, but the logistics have yet to be finalized.
Mr. Trump blasted America's trade track record with China in a meeting on the American workforce Monday afternoon before formally announcing the tariffs.
"China is now paying us billions of dollars, and we will see how that all works out," the president said. "I have great respect for President Xi, as you know. I was over there for two days with him. I have a lot of respect for China. But last year, we lost $375 billion in deficits, and we had, in my opinion, way over $500 billion in cash. And that's not including certain items that we won't even talk about."