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

Trump threatens to slap tariffs on all $505 bn of Chinese imports

Trump reiterated threats to impose tariffs on almost all Chinese imports to the U.S. in a CNBC interview broadcasted on Friday.

"I'm ready to go to 500", he said in an interview with the CNBC channel. "Look, I'm not doing this for politics". "We have been ripped off by China for a long time and I told that to President Xi", Trump said. In retaliation, China levied taxes on the same value of U.S. products.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports.

The US and China have already imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on each other's goods.

The yuan dipped to a 12-month low of 6.8 to the dollar, off by 7.6 percent since mid-February.

There is already pushback in the USA from businesses that will take a hit in an escalating trade war. Anything further, Mr. Trump has said, depends on the extent to which China retaliates.

Trade discussions aimed at defusing tensions between the USA and China have stalled, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US would only be willing to get back to the table if China agrees to deepen structural changes to its economy.

The Trump administration has also angered key allies by imposing tariffs of steel and aluminum imports earlier this year. Markets were already wary over increased trade tensions between the United States and the European Union over tariffs on auto imports.

In excerpts of the interview released yesterday Trump had broken with the long-established executive branch practice of not commenting on the Federal Reserve's decisions out of respect for its independence.

He adds: "As usual, not a level playing field". But rate increases also make borrowing costlier for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth.

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