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Trump "ready to go" with US$500 billion in tariffs on all China imports
[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump said he's "ready to go" with US$500 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the US, saying the country has been taken advantage of for too long.
"I'm not doing this for politics. I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country," Mr Trump said in a CNBC interview aired Friday. "We are being taken advantage of and I don't like it."
The US$500 billion would be roughly the value of Chinese goods imported into the US last year.
US equity futures turned lower with European stocks on Mr Trump's threat. Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell as much as 0.4 per cent.
Mr Trump's comments come as the world's two biggest economies are in a deepening impasse over allegations of unfair trade. China accused American officials of making false accusations Thursday as it fired back against a claim President Xi Jinping is blocking talks with the US over the trade war between both nations. White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said Mr Xi doesn't haven't any intention of agreeing on trade with the US.
Mr Trump earlier this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, with another $16 billion to follow soon. The administration has also released a list of 10 per cent tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, which could take effect as early as next month. China retaliated on the first wave of tariffs by slapping duties on the same dollar amount of US imports, and Beijing has said it'll fight against any further US actions.
Mr Trump authorized the tariffs after an investigation he ordered by the US Trade Representative's office found that China was violating intellectual property rules and forcing American companies operating in China to hand over their technology secrets to gain access to the market. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng last week called those accusations "groundless" and said that the US trade penalties contravene rules at the World Trade Organization.