Trump to raise tariffs on $200 bn of China goods

Trump says he will increase tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday as he complains about pace of trade talks

The US president tweeted that tariffs of 10% would rise to 25% on Friday, saying: "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"

A multi-part tweet disseminated today by President Donald Trump (via The New York Times) revealed that starting next Friday, $200 billion of Chinese goods imported into the US will be taxed at a 25% rate, up from the current 10%.

"The Tariffs paid to the U.S. have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China", he tweeted on Sunday. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the previous April talks between the USA and China "productive". The White House has ramped up pressure to reach a deal, warning it could still walk away from the months-long negotiations.

Trump's action came as a major Chinese delegation is expected to arrive Wednesday in Washington for the latest round of talks to end the trade war between the world's two biggest economies - a round billed as the last one and possibly leading to a deal to end the conflict. It now has imposed 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports and 25% tariffs on another $50 billion.

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Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a White House economist under President George W. Bush, said the talks are too complicated for Trump's high-pressure tactics to work.

But last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to temper expectations, suggesting that Washington was willing to "move on" if it can't get the deal it wants.

As a candidate for the presidency, Trump raged repeatedly about alleged Chinese perfidy - so much so that a video mashup of him spitting out the word "China" went viral and collected more than 15 million views on Youtube.com.

US officials, including the president, have often said that while the talks have been going well it was still possible a deal would not be struck.

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Trump has repeatedly blamed what he sees as China's unfair trade practices for the hollowing out of the US manufacturing sector.

Trump administration officials believe that China's own nationalists have pushed back on some of the terms agreed by its trade negotiators, arguing that they would be humiliating to China and its leader, Xi Jinping.

Bloomberg Economics chief economist Tom Orlik said: "It's possible talks are breaking down, with China offering insufficient concessions, and an increase in tariffs a genuine prospect".

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