Ready to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports, says Donald Trump as trade war between US and China escalates

Washington: US President Donald Trump said has that he is prepared to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports to the US as the trade war between the world’s two largest economies intensified.

“We have the right to impose additional tairiff of another $325 billion at 25 per cent. That is a tremendous amount of money that would come into our country. I have not made that decision yet,” Efe news quoted Trump as saying.

Trump’s comments came hours after China increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent the tariffs it levied last year on $60 billion worth of US imports.

Beijing was retaliating for Trump’s decision last week to enact an identical increase in the US import duties applied since last year to $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

Asked about the latest move from Beijing, Trump said he wasn’t concerned about the impact on the US economy.

There can be some retaliation, but it can’t be very substantial, by comparison: Trump

“I love the position we’re in. There can be some retaliation, but it can’t be very, very substantial, by comparison. And out of the billions of dollars that we’re taking in, a small portion of that will be going to our farmers because China will be retaliating, probably, to a certain extent, against our farmers,” he said.

Trump said he was planning a $15 billion aid package for US farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs.

“Our farmers are great patriots and they’ve done a fantastic job. So our farmers are going to be very well taken care of,” he said.

Chinese and US trade negotiators met last week in Washington, but they adjourned without an agreement and no further talks are scheduled.

The gloomy outlook for resolving the trade conflict spurred a steep drop Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 617.38 points, or 2.38 per cent.