President Trump threatened a heavy counterpunch against Beijing Thursday evening, saying he may impose tariffs on $100 billion worth of Chinese goods on top of the Section 301 tariffs his administration is already considering to combat what the U.S. says are illegal intellectual property and technology transfer practices.
[Jack Caporal | April 5, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
His threat followed China’s pledge to retaliate if the U.S. moved ahead with its initial Section 301 moves.
“Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Trump said in a statement. “In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.”
The president, however, held open the door for negotiations with Beijing, which some senior advisers have said could obviate the need for the tariffs if a deal can be reached.