U.S. President Donald Trump, looking to pressure China to speed up talks on a new trade agreement, says that starting Friday he will impose sharply higher tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese exports to the United States.
Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter: “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
He said he will raise existing 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, and to impose new tariffs on another $325 billion of other products.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that China is considering canceling trade talks scheduled to take place in Washington this week.
The White House press secretary had not yet responded to VOA for comment regarding the Wall Street Journal report.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed last December to forestall new tariffs while the talks were going on, but it was not clear how Trump’s announcement would affect the negotiations, set to resume in Washington on Wednesday.
Stock markets were down in both countries Monday, with the Shanghai Composite falling more than 5% and futures on Wall Street down more than 1% ahead of that market’s opening.
Washington and Beijing have engaged in reciprocal tariff hikes over the last year while negotiators have engaged in lengthy trade talks, alternating negotiations between the two capitals.
Despite an initial goal of finishing by March 1, the two countries have continued to debate several issues, but have yet to complete a deal. Both sides, representing the world’s two biggest economies, have said progress is being made.
The two countries have been trying to resolve disputes over intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. It is not clear whether the tariffs both countries have imposed will remain in place if an agreement is reached.