U.S. President Donald Trump seeks tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods despite the U.S. attempt to restart talks on trade, according to reports Friday.
The president told aides to go ahead with tariffs, the reports said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The U.S. and China have already put in place tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s imports since July as tensions escalated despite several rounds of talks. Trump has criticized China’s record trade surplus with the U.S. and openly questioned whether it was manipulating its currency.
Trump raised the ante, vowing to target an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods, but he hasn’t officially imposed them even after a deadline passed.
The president met with trade advisors on Thursday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the reports said. Mnuchin had been spearheading attempts to restart trade talks with China.
But Trump has indicated he has no intention of backing down. On Thursday he tweeted “we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us.”
In a statement to CNBC, the White House said, “The President has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China’s unfair trade practices. We encourage China to address the long standing concerns raised by the United States.”
Earlier this month, Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One that he could go after another $267 billion of goods on top of the $200 billion and the previously imposed tariffs.
Tariffs ranging from 5 to 25 percent apply to thousands of products, including cameras, recording devices, tires and vacuum cleaners.
China has vowed to respond.