President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will add a new tariff on $300 billion of Chinese-made products on September 1, effectively putting a tax on all Chinese goods coming into the United States.
“Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of products coming from China into our country,” he tweeted.
Later in the day, Trump said in remarks to reporters at the White House that he might still ratchet tariffs up to 25%, as he’s previously threatened — or even higher.
“It can be lifted in stages so we’re starting at 10% and it can be lifted up to well beyond 25%,” the President said. “But we’re not looking to do that, necessarily.”
The new tariffs could impact US consumers harder this time round. It would tax goods like iPhones and other consumer electronics, sneakers and toys. Last year, Trump imposed tariffs on about $250 billion in Chinese-made goods, targeting industrial materials and components.
Trump has previously claimed many times, albeit falsely, that the tariffs have cost China rather than American consumers.
“We’re taking in many billions of dollars. There’s been absolutely no inflation and frankly it hasn’t cost our consumer anything. It cost China,” Trump said in his remarks, adding that companies are now moving out of China to avoid the tariffs.
However, economic studies show that US consumers, not China or other foreign importers, are bearing the weight of the tariffs. The White House’s most recent Economic Report of the President, released in March, acknowledged that any benefit from the tariffs is offset by “costs paid by consumers in the form of higher prices and reduced consumption.”
Trump issued his new threat of tariffs on China after a meeting with his trade team to update him on talks that wrapped this week in Shanghai, according to an administration official familiar with the matter.
The team includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
In his tweets, the President said the talks “constructive,” but stated that the Chinese have not restarted buying American agricultural products as they had promised. He also claimed that China had failed to deliver according to its commitment to stop sales of fentanyl, a powerful opioid, into the United States.