Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China September 24, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he is asking the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider additional tariffs on $100 billion Chinese goods, intensifying tensions with China after his administration signaled it would be willing to negotiate.
"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," Trump said in a statement.
Trump said the USTR determined that China “has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.”
USTR Robert Lighthizer also released the statement in support of the president’s direction that the USTR should consider additional measures under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 regarding China’s unfair acts related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
“Unfortunately, China has chosen to respond thus far with threats to impose unjustified tariffs on billions of dollars in U.S. exports, including our agricultural products. Such measures would undoubtedly cause further harm to American workers, farmers, and businesses. Under these circumstances, the President is right to ask for additional appropriate action to obtain the elimination of the unfair acts, policies, and practices identified in USTR’s report,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in the statement.
US stock index futures fell in reaction to Trump’s latest statement.
On Wednesday, China announced tariffs on 106 US products including soybeans, automobiles and whiskey. They were introduced as a retaliatory measure of tariffs on Chinese products unveiled by President Trump a day before.