Fox News reported on Friday that the Chinese Commerce Ministry is ready to fight the U.S. at “any cost” following President Donald Trump’s threat to implement tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports.
Beginning last month, the U.S. imposed tariffs on $3 billion in Chinese aluminum and steel. On Tuesday, additional tariffs on 1,300 more products from China were announced, including medical, aerospace and information technology products totaling more than $50 billion.
In response, the Chinese government implemented tariffs of its own on $3 billion in American goods.
Now Fox News stated that the President has asked the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to consider lobbing for additional tariffs against Beijing. The threat comes in light of the country’s “illicit trade practices” that have “destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,” the President said.
“China’s illicit trade practices − ignored for years by Washington − have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,” Trump wrote. “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers. In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate.”
The back-and-forth has led some to believe that the two countries are heading toward a trade war that might spell trouble for jobs, the price of goods, and the economy as a whole. Wall Street has experienced extremely volatile trading in recent weeks as experts weigh the possible outcome of both countries’ actions.
However, the President insists that these efforts are the first steps in implementing fairer deals with China and promoting economic growth.
“Trade barriers must be taken down to enhance economic growth in America and around the world,” Trump said in a statement. “I am committed to enabling American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field around the world, and I will never allow unfair trade practices to undermine American interests.”
The President also insisted this week in a tweet that the U.S. is not in trade war with China.
“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” he wrote on April 4. “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion.”
“We cannot let this continue,” he added.
We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2018
Still, others suggest that the U.S. and China are in fact on the brink of a trade war.
National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay told Reuters: “This is what a trade war looks like, and what we have warned against from the start.”
With economic concerns growing, Trump reassured the nation that negotiations with China are still possible in order to achieve the right outcome.
“The United States is still prepared to have discussions in further support of our commitment to achieving free, fair and reciprocal trade and to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people,” he said.