Trump threatens higher tariffs on China


US President Donald Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration said on Wednesday.

Even if the USA tries to buy fewer goods from China through imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, it still has to buy these goods from other countries, he said.

The U.S. had threatened an additional $200 billion with levies of 10%, a level the administration may raise to 25% in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said.

The White House may hope that higher stakes force China to make concessions, but that is a risky bet, said Mickey Kantor, a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown who served as United States commerce secretary under former president Bill Clinton.

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Mr Wang was firm that any pressure which the USA was trying to put on China would not work.

Officials however downplayed suggestions the move was meant to compensate for the recent decline in the value of the Chinese currency, which have threatened to take much of the sting out of Mr Trump's tariffs by making the imports cheaper.

Raising the proposed tax rate on those goods means extending the deadline for public comment on the plan from August 30 to September 5.

The administration announced last month it will provide up to $12 billion in relief for farmers who are losing money due to the trade battles. Beijing retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of us exports to China.

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The Trump administration released a preliminary list of goods that could be subject to this wave of tariffs.

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers. and hear the collective call of the worldwide community", Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat and a member of the country's state council, or cabinet, said in Singapore. "Tariffs are an unacceptable gamble with the USA economy and the stakes continue to rise with no end in sight". China responded by implementing its own penalties on US goods.

But President Trump doesn't want to consider the downside of the torrent of capital that has flowed into the United States over the past forty years, because he and the other owners of capital who hold sway over Republican Party thinking benefit from being able to sell their assets to foreigners at inflated prices.

"US pressure and blackmail won't have an effect".

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"If the U.S. side takes steps to further escalate the situation, we will definitely take countermeasures to resolutely safeguard our legitimate and legal rights and interests", said foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Wednesday. Advisers reportedly told President Trump that China's authorities would be more likely to yield if higher tax rates were imposed.