The American president is proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration confirmed Wednesday.
The tariff is an increase from previously proposed ten percent tariff. China has refused to meet U.S. demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods
“The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement, according to Reuters.
According to two administration officials Trumps remains open to communications with Beijing.
“Escalating tariffs against China is the wrong approach to address legitimate concerns U.S. businesses have with China’s harmful practices,” said Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Each tariff escalation leads to further retaliatory action from China – ultimately inflicting even more harm on American businesses, workers, farmers, ranchers, and consumers,” Brilliant continued.
China is prepared to hit back.
“U.S. pressure and blackmail won’t have an effect. If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.
Sigmund Bjorgo, Norway’s seafood envoy to China, has earlier said that a higher tariff plan on Chinese seafood would have big consequences for the global seafood market.
The public has until September 5 to comment on the proposal.