Trump Threatens to Raise Existing Tariffs on Chinese Goods to 30%

President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Responding to $75 billion in new tariffs on U.S. goods announced by China on Friday, President Donald Trump said he will increase previously announced tariffs on Chinese imports.

In a thread of tweets on Friday afternoon, Trump said tariffs on $250 billion in goods from China will jump from 25% to 30%, while a separate set of goods valued at $300 billion, including electronics, will see tariffs go from 10% to 15%.

The increased tariffs on the $250 billion in goods will go into effect on Oct. 1, while the other set of tariffs will snap into place beginning on Sept. 1. The administration earlier this month announced plans to delay the tariffs on some of the $300 billion in goods, and those will now face the 15% tariff on Dec. 15, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

In Friday’s tweets, Trump accused past administrations of not responding aggressively enough to China on trade, calling it a “great burden to the American Taxpayer.”

“As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!” Trump tweeted. “In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair Trading Relationship. China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!).”

In a report earlier this week, JPMorgan found the tariffs the Trump administration had already planned will cost the average American household $1,000 per year.

Trump made the announcement hours after China announced $75 billion in new tariffs on U.S. goods, a move that was itself a response to Trump’s announcement earlier this month of new duties on Chinese goods.

The Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement Friday it will impose two rounds of tariffs of 5% and 10% on U.S. imports, one on Sept. 1 and another on Dec. 15. The country will also impose 25% and 5% tariffs on U.S. cars and parts on Dec. 15, according to another statement Friday.

The auto tariffs have been hanging over the U.S. for months, as China suspended them two separate times over the past year amid ongoing negotiations between the countries.

“The U.S. measures have led to a sustained escalation of economic and trade frictions between China and the U.S., greatly harming the interests of China, the United States and other countries, and seriously threatening the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

President Donald Trump responded to the Chinese tariffs on Twitter, saying U.S. companies are “ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”

“Our country has lost, stupidly, trillions of dollars with China over many years,” Trump tweeted. “They have stolen our intellectual property at a rate of hundreds of billions of dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.”

The escalations in the burgeoning trade war between the United States and China come amid a weakening U.S. and global economy, with concerns about a potential recession on the rise. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech Friday “trade policy uncertainty” is a possible driver of slowing economic growth.

Powell, who has come under fire from Trump recently for the central bank’s handling of interest rates, also said that setting trade policy is up to “Congress and the administration.”

“Our assignment is to use monetary policy to foster our statutory goals,” Powell said, referring to the Federal Reserve. “In principle, anything that affects the outlook for employment and inflation could also affect the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and that could include uncertainty about trade policy.”

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