Donald Trump has reportedly given aides the go-ahead to implement tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, despite the Treasury department attempting to restart talks to resolve the trade war, according to Bloomberg.
The Inquisitr reported yesterday that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had contacted Chinese officials about restarting negotiations which were, at the time, believed to be in an effort to avoid those tariffs taking place.
Sources told Bloomberg that Trump was preparing to put the tariffs in place but had hitherto held off due to fears of a potential backlash from companies and from the public. The tariffs are said to be comprehensive and will impact many areas of consumer purchasing power.
On Thursday, Trump had a meeting with his top economic advisors, including Mnuchin. During said meeting the prospect of expanded tariffs interfering with negotiations was allegedly part of the general discussion. Trump reportedly said that he wasn’t concerned about that prospect.
The speculation surrounding whether or not Trump will activate further tariffs on Chinese goods comes just after the call for public comment on said tariffs closed last week. Trump has publicly stated that he will implement the tariffs “soon,” even before the call for public comments had ended.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to boast that he has the upper hand on Beijing, and doesn’t see a need to resolve the dispute diplomatically at this time.
The Wall Street Journal has it wrong, we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing. We will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home. If we meet, we meet?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
Following the reports of tariffs coming into place — regardless of what happens in negotiations in China — stocks declined, taking a dip from their former all-time highs. Apple, which had gained after the announcement of their new product line about to launch, declined by 1.7 percent at the news.
Those declines in the stock market reverse yesterday’s gains which came on the heels of the resumption of talks, reported Reuters. Especially affected by the market decline was the Chinese Yuan — which had made substantial gains yesterday, only to see them wiped out entirely.
Trump has also threatened a third round of tariffs, which he has said could be activated “on short notice.” These targeted tariffs would impact a further $267 billion of Chinese imports.
Should that round of tariffs be activated, the impacts will almost certainly hit American consumers — leading retailers such as Walmart and Target to express their concern that they will face negative financial consequences should a second round take effect.
The upcoming talks would be the fifth round of discussions, with trade representatives from both countries having last met in August to try to cool the trade war. But Trump has made it clear that he is willing to go ahead with more tariffs — something which may cool Chinese representatives on entering discussions if they feel their American counterparts are not acting in good faith.