The Trump administration has already imposed tariffs on US$50 billion worth of shipments from its largest trading partner, with the US$200 billion tranche expected to come soon. China has said it would be forced to retaliate to all of the U.S.'s tariff measures, fanning concerns that a deepening trade war could dent the global economic outlook.
"Now we've added another US$200 billion", Trump said during remarks that were initially off the record but which he later told reporters they could publish.
"I hate to say this, but behind that there is another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want", Trump was reported by The Wall Street Journal as saying on Air Force One.
"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.
Trump's now threatened tariffs on a total of 517 billion dollars in Chinese imports - a figure that eclipses the total amount of goods imported from China to the USA past year.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday (September 8) upped the ante on China, threatening to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports coming in to the U.S.
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The moves would sharply escalate Trump's trade war with Beijing over his demands for major changes in economic, trade and technology policy.
United States stocks slipped after Trump's comments, with the S&P 500 off 0.2%, while China's off-shore trade yuan currency fell against the dollar. USA stocks erased gains after Trump's remarks. Japan will have a "big problem" if it doesn't conclude a new trade deal with the USA, he said on Air Force One. That would basically cover all the imports from China that aren't already covered.
Members of the public had until Thursday to comment on the administration's plan to slap tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, ranging from bicycles and baseball gloves to digital cameras, paving the way for Trump to announce the tariffs as early as Friday.
Last night Apple warned that the threatened tariffs would hit "a wide range of Apple..."
On Thursday, Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and other technology companies sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the administration to avoid imposing more tariffs. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said.
"We are still talking with China on a number of issues. We want lower (trade) barriers across the board".