Trump poised to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports

Trump poised to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE is reportedly set to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, which will likely further ramp up concerns about a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The White House could release the list of about 1,300 technology products imported from China that would get hit by the duties as early as Friday, according to news reports on Thursday night.

The tariffs are expected to go into effect soon, but no date has been announced.

Imposing the tariffs could jeopardize Beijing's cooperation in talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.


Trump reportedly approved the tariffs after meeting Thursday with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCongress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia On The Money: Trump to seek new round of tax cuts after midterms | Mnuchin meets with Saudi crown prince | Trump threatens to cut foreign aid over caravan Trump admin to make Iran oil waivers harder to get MORE, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSupreme Court blocks ruling that mandated Ross deposition on census citizenship question NAFTA 2.0's 'poison pill' is a needed dose of trade medicine Census citizenship question will help voting rights enforcement MORE.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged during her daily media briefing that top administration officials had held a trade meeting on Thursday.

But Sanders couldn't provide details of what the White House would ultimately announce.

"Well, since I'm not making any announcements, it would be hard for me to give details of an announcement that we're not quite ready to make," she told reporters.

"Whether or not we will, we'll certainly keep you posted. But beyond that, I can't get into any details," she said.

The White House has argued that the tariffs are needed to curb China's efforts to steal intellectual property from U.S. companies.

In March, Trump announced plans for at least $50 billion in tariffs over longstanding concerns about China's unfair trade policies that required U.S. companies to transfer technology to China's domestic businesses, as well as the theft of trade secrets. 

Then in April, the administration provided a preliminary list of technology goods that the U.S. might target for a 25 percent tariff. 

The decision stems from the conclusions of a Section 301 investigation launched in August that found that China’s theft of intellectual property is costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars. 

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from a wide range of nations, including China.