In July, the administration published a
list of thousands of products that would be subject to the latest round
of trade penalties. More than 300 products were removed from that list
-- including smartwatches, health and safety devices and children's
Trump had urged his
advisers to press forward with the $200 billion round, even as
Washington and Beijing worked to restart trade talks. Trump's decision
threatens to upend the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with
"China has had many opportunities to
fully address our concerns," Trump said in a statement released Monday
evening by the White House. "Once again, I urge China's leaders to take
swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices."
Trump also threatened to inflict more economic pain in the form of additional tariffs if Beijing takes any retaliatory action.
China's Ministry of Commerce promised to hit back against the latest tariffs in a statement on Tuesday.
"In order to safeguard our legitimate
rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to
adopt countermeasures at the same time," the ministry said. It did not
elaborate on what the countermeasures would be, but China has previously
threatened to retaliate with tariffs on an additional $60 billion of US goods.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited the Chinesenegotiators
to Washington this week to resume talks. But Beijing said Tuesday that
"the US insistence on imposing tariffs brings new uncertainties" to
"We hope that
the US could recognize the possible negative consequences of such
actions and take convincing measures to rectify them in a timely
manner," the Chinese Commerce Ministry added.
Larry Kudlow, the White House economic
adviser, said earlier on Monday that the US was still willing to
continue its dialogue with China.
stand ready to negotiate with China anytime, if they are willing to
engage in serious talks," Kudlow said at the Economic Club of New York.
Monday, Trump previewed the announcement at the White House: "It will
be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of
America. A lot of money coming in," he said.
remarks from the Roosevelt Room, he said he was confident an agreement
could eventually be reached with China, but stressed such an accord must
do right by American workers.
"They want to make a deal," Trump said. "But from our standpoint, it has to be fair. It has to take care of our workers."
The tariffs are meant to punish China
for alleged unfair trade practices, including intellectual property
theft. China has accused the United States of trade bullying and, to
this point, has responded dollar-for-dollar with tariffs of its own.
The new round of American tariffs takes effect September 24.
US trade officials held public hearings in late August on the proposed
escalation, hearing from dozens of American businesses hoping to be
exempted. Businesses will be scouring the final list to find out whether
their appeals were heard.
In a letter to the US trade
representative, Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard
Enterprise said that tariffs on of their networking equipment could hurt
their bottom lines and lead to possible US job losses.
despite their lobbying efforts, some of those products will remain on
the tariff list. While consumer electronic products were generally
removed, network and router items will be covered by the tariffs, senior
administration officials said on a call with reporters Monday.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized the tariffs, saying Monday that the
decision "makes clear that the administration did not heed the numerous
warnings from American consumers and businesses."
"Both countries should stay at the
negotiating table, and the U.S. should continue working with its allies
to seek alternative solutions," president and CEO Thomas Donohue said in
"The new tariffs are
bad news for the retail sector," said Neil Saunders, managing director
at GlobalData Retail, a consulting firm. He said companies will be
forced to choose between raising prices on goods or absorbing the hit to
their profit margins.
predicted that some retailers will try to shift their production out of
China, but he warned that quickly changing supply chains can be costly
and pose a new set of challenges.
the call with reporters, senior administration officials declined to
comment on when talks might restart with their Chinese counterparts.
"China needs to come to the table and address the concerns that have been raised," said a senior administration official.
They warned, however, if Beijing decides
to execute its own round of tariffs on American goods, the president
will unleash further measures.
the extent they remain unwilling to work with us, the president has
other options and those will be considered at the future time," said a
senior administration official.
Trump has floated the idea of slapping a third round of tariffs on $267 billion in goods on China.
Trump's decision to announce new tariffs on September 18 could have an unintended significance in China.
this date in 1931, the Japanese army first invaded China and the day
has been used by the Communist Party as a symbol of shame and the need
for Chinese rejuvenation.
primary school children are taught about the "jiu yi ba," Chinese for
9/18. Amid a growing propaganda push by the Communist Party, accusing
the US of attempting to halt China's rise with tariffs, the choice of
date could add fuel to the fire.