Trump's trade rep: Threat of new tariffs 'appropriate response' to China

Trump's trade rep: Threat of new tariffs 'appropriate response' to China
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U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE's consideration to impose $100 billion in additional tariffs on China on Thursday, calling the move an "appropriate response" to Beijing. 

“President Trump is proposing an appropriate response to China’s recent threat of new tariffs," Lighthizer said in a statement Thursday night.

“Unfortunately, China has chosen to respond thus far with threats to impose unjustified tariffs on billions of dollars in U.S. exports, including our agricultural products," he said. 

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"Such measures would undoubtedly cause further harm to American workers, farmers, and businesses. Under these circumstances, the President is right to ask for additional appropriate action to obtain the elimination of the unfair acts, policies, and practices identified in [the U.S. Trade Representative's] report,” he said.

Trump announced on Thursday he was ordering the U.S. Trade Representative to consider the new tariffs amid the escalating trade dispute with China. 

Lighthizer conducted a Section 301 investigation that determined Beijing has unfairly forced American firms to turn over intellectual property and technology in order to do business in China.

The White House on Tuesday slapped a $50 billion tariff package on China, with 25 percent tariffs being levied on imports of Chinese electronics, shoes, furniture and other goods.

Beijing retaliated on Wednesday, hitting the U.S. with 25 percent tariffs on imports of U.S. soybeans, corn, airplanes and automobiles in a package that totals about $50 billion worth of goods.