Trump prepared to hit China with $60B in annual tariffs: report
President Trump is planning to hit China with $60 billion worth of annual tariffs, following up on his threats to punish Beijing for intellectual property theft, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Senior aides had provided the president with a $30 billion tariff package — but Trump ordered them to double it, according to the Post.
The package, which Trump is expected to announce on Friday, will target more than 100 products.
Trump argues that these products were developed using trade secrets from American companies that China either stole or forced them to give up in exchange for market access.
Many worry that if Trump follows through with these proposed tariffs, China might retaliate, triggering a trade war that could have drastic effects on the U.S. economy.
The new tariffs follow Trump’s recent announcement of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Although a couple of vital trading partners, such as Canada and Mexico, were excluded from the tariffs in the original announcement — and it’s possible more could be excluded — the European Union has said it will enact retaliatory measures, and other countries could follow suit.
Many Republicans have also spoken out against the steel and aluminum tariffs, and GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) has also introduced a bill to nullify them.
Gary Cohn, a supporter of free trade, resigned from his post as Trump’s economic adviser following the announcement of the steel and aluminum tariffs.
The China tariffs are likely to find more support among the GOP, which has also complained about Beijing’s intellectual property theft.