Trump threatens to hit all $505bn of Chinese imports with tariffs

Oscar PerryJul 21, 2018

President Trump on Friday took his second swipe in two days at the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes, alleging the central bank is taking away the country's competitive advantage, which sent the US dollar lower. Two more rate hikes are still expected this year; Trump's massive tax breaks have raised fears that they could accelerate inflation.

Treasury yields edged lower on Thursday after President Trump said he disagreed with Fed policy on interest rates and objected to a strong dollar. "Debt coming due & we are raising rates - Really?"

The threat to place tariffs on all Chinese goods sent to the USA would effectively end the tit-for-tat trade battle between the two nations, as Chinese imports from the U.S. are a comparatively small $129.9 billion.

In a taped interview with the business channel CNBC, Trump warning, "I'm willing to go to 500", meaning he's prepared ultimately to impose tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese imports - roughly the value of all the goods Beijing shipped to the United States previous year.

He also said that higher interest rates will strengthen the U.S. dollar too much, putting the United States at a "disadvantage" while central banks in Europe and Japan keep rates low.

Even while threatening China, Trump tried to reassure the Chinese government that he was not looking to "scare" the country.

The Trump administration imposed punitive duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S. in early July and said another $16 billion worth of electronics and plastics would be targeted after a public comment period. The administration July 10 announced a second possible round targeting $200 billion worth of goods.

"The United States should not be penalized because we are doing so well".

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"I don't want them to be scared", he told CNBC.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for a lack of progress in bilateral trade talks, saying that lower-ranking officials want a deal. "But it was very unfair".

In the short term, the president's jawboning could affect everything from his trade war with China to the Group of 20 consensus on currencies.

The growing share of worldwide trade under threat has raised the prospect the escalating trade war could harm the global economy by disrupting companies supply chains, pushing firms to hold off on investments, and making goods more expensive for consumers. "I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country", Trump said in a CNBC interview aired Friday.

Trump indeed said he had 'put a very good man in, ' in reference to Powell, who succeeded Janet Yellen at the Fed.

"We're down a tremendous amount", Mr Trump said in an interview about trade imbalances with China on CNBC.

The president on Friday accused China and the euro area of manipulating their currencies, and complained that a rising dollar is blunting America's "competitive edge". President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, a rare rebuke by a sitting president that upends longstanding executive branch protocol to avoid commenting on monetary policy.

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