President Donald Trump on Friday put more pressure on China by issuing an additional 5% duty on an estimated $550 billion in Chinese goods in the latest trade war battle between the world’s two most powerful economies.
Trump announced the increased tariffs via his social media account just hours after China revealed their intent to issue retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods, but not before demanding U.S. companies move their operations out of China earlier the same day.
The U.S.-China trade issues have many fearing that the global economy may see a recession, sending U.S. stocks plummeting lower than it already is with the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC down 3%, and the S&P 500 .SPX down 2.6%.
“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer,” Trump said via his social media account. “As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!”
President Trump also indicated that the United States would raise its existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from the current 25% to 30% beginning on Oct. 1. In addition, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods from the current 10% to 15% rate. The United States will implement these tariffs on many products beginning Sept. 1 with the remaining goods beginning on Dec. 15. These dates have been confirmed by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office but indicated it would hold a public comment period before imposing the 30% tariff rate on Oct. 1.
Since becoming president in 2017, Trump has demanded changes from China that would make economic policies more amicable. This includes the end of theft of American intellectual property, efforts to curb industrial subsidies, opening its markets to American businesses, and increasing their purchases of U.S. goods.
China, however, denies Trump’s accusations of their unfair economic and trade practices and has refused to make changes.
“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP,” the president posted on his Twitter Friday morning. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”
President Trump also said that he was ordering those in the shipping industry, such as FedEx, Amazon.com, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service to search for and refuse all deliveries of the opioid fentanyl to the United States.
The president met with leaders of the G7 major economies at a summit this weekend in France, where the topic of trade tensions was at the top of the agenda.