US Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday a 25% hike on tariffs on 5,700 categories of Chinese imports, amounting to $200 billion that would take effect the following day – just as stock markets in the US closed.
A guidance notice on CBP’s website said the import categories were previously subjected to a 10% tariff.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the move was intended to apply pressure to Beijing, which requested substantial edits to a trade deal being negotiated between the two countries. If successful, the deal is anticipated to bring the lifting of tariffs on each others’ imported goods, as well as enhanced intellectual property protections for Chinese companies and expanded markets in China for US goods.
“We were getting very close to a deal then they started to renegotiate the deal. We can’t have that,” Trump said Thursday. “I think it will be a very strong day, frankly, but we’ll see. We’ll see. It was their idea to come back.”
Trump said he was more than happy to keep tariffs on Chinese goods if a deal could not be reached.
“They’ll see what they can do, but our alternative is, is an excellent one,” Trump said, referring to the tariff threat.