Trump says he’s ready to hit China with $267bn in additional tariffs

Trump has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors.

"China, right now, is a far bigger problem", Trump said.

The deadline has now passed for companies to submit their opinions to the US government about its proposed new tariffs on China.

Speaking in a television interview, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that the administration would be reviewing the roughly 6,000 comments members of the public had made to the US Trade Representative on the $200bn proposals before deciding on how to proceed with the tariffs.

Those steps include slapping tariffs on $60 billion of USA imports, Gao said. It would also be in addition to tariffs his administration has already imposed on $50 billion in Chinese imports, for which Beijing has retaliated with an equal amount of import taxes on USA goods. And China has vowed to hit $60bn in U.S. products in retaliation.

Previous talks between Washington and Beijing did not result in an agreement, and it seems the trade war is likely to escalate further at least until the November mid-term elections.

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on $50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

Trump has had Beijing in his crosshairs since he took office, and has applied increasing pressure to try to convince it to change its policies, allow more imports and reduce the US$335-billion United States trade deficit with China.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office received almost 6,000 comments and held seven days of public hearings on the proposed levies. But David French, top lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, whose members include Amazon.com (AMZN.O), BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ.N) and Macy's (M.N), said almost every consumer good could be affected if Trump follows through on all threatened tariffs. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said.

"It's never too late to make good trade policy", Kudlow said.

However, she seemed to have a different position than Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on the relationship between the NAFTA talks and the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.

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