President Donald Trump announced that he would raise tariffs even higher in response to China’s additional tariffs on Friday.
“Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25 percent, will be taxed at 30 percent,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10 percent, will now be taxed at 15 percent.”
The president announced his additional tariffs after China on Friday announced their decision to raise tariffs ranging from 5-10 percent on $75 billion U.S. goods, which will take place between September 1 and December 15.
Trump announced a new ten percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods earlier this month, which will take place later this year.
“For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more,” Trump wrote. “Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight.”
In recent months, Trump has urged the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates to make the United States economy more competitive as the trade fight with China continues. After Chairman Jerome Powell did not indicate a change in monetary policy in a speech on Friday, Trump sounded the alarm.
“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the leader of China, Xi Jinping.
The president said Friday he would act alone to respond to China, questioning whether Powell was an “enemy” in the trade fight.
“We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work ‘brilliantly’ with both, and the U.S. will do great,” he wrote.
The stock market closed down 623 points on Friday, as the chaotic day unsettled traders.
Trump defended his trade battle, noting that the status quo with China allowed the country to enjoy a massive trade disparity under past presidents.
“As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair trading Relationship,” he wrote.
He described the new China tariffs as “politically motivated,” suggesting they were trying to punish the American economy ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump has repeatedly said that Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden would likely cave to China if he won the presidency in 2020.
“Sleepy Joe doesn’t have a clue,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “Sleepy Joe said, ‘Oh, China is wonderful.’ Well, China is wonderful for China. But I’m wonderful for the U.S.A.”