Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Trump ready to hit all Chinese imports with tariffs

"We've been ripped off by China for a long time", he added. "Donald Trump will be the president until at least January, 2021".

"I'm ready to go to 500", Trump told CNBC's Joe Kernen, suggesting that every Chinese product would be subject to the duties.

The magnitude of the imbalance has continued into 2018, with Chinese imports totaling $205 billion in the first five months of the year and the deficit reaching $152 billion.

Trump is taking a more aggressive, protectionist posture on trade than his recent predecessors, sparking retaliatory measures from countries around the world and igniting disputes on multiple fronts.

According to the US, China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance - and allegedly forces American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market. The Trump administration has already placed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, and had previously threatened to put levies on $200 billion of imports.

In the full interview released today Trump reiterated his claim that the United States is "being taken advantage of" on issues including trade policy.

"I'm not doing this for politics, I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country", Trump said. China retaliated on the first wave of tariffs by slapping duties on the same dollar amount of US imports, and Beijing has said it'll fight against any further USA actions.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for a lack of progress in bilateral trade talks, saying that lower-ranking officials want a deal.

Beijing is targeting sectors, like agriculture, that could harm Trump politically at home, though he said in the CNBC interview that he is seeking to do only what is fair. European auto shares fell on Friday in response to Trump's China comments.

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