US: Donald Trump reacts to China with tariff increase | News | DW | 23.08.2019
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US: Donald Trump reacts to China with tariff increase

The US president increased tensions with the hike as the stock markets went into a tailspin. Trump tweeted that he would be increasing tariffs by 5% on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

US President Donald Trump raised the stakes in his country's trade war with China on Friday by increasing tariffs on Chinese imports.

This came in direct response to Beijing raising taxes on $75 billion worth of US products.

As part of a string of tweets, Trump said he would be increasing levies on $300 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 15%. The Office of the US Trade Representative also said existing tariffs on another $250 billion of Chinese imports would go up from 25% to 30% from October 1.

Earlier Friday, the president said he "hereby ordered" US firms to look for alternatives to doing business in China.

The rising tensions between the world's two biggest economies caused the stock market to tumble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 643 points — and that was before Trump announced the new fees.

Costly instability

One US financial service provider, JP Morgan, had predicted that Trump's latest move would cost the average household approximately $1,000 a year.

Other experts were equally dumbfounded.

"It's impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment," said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation. "The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers. Where does this end?"

Turbulence

The latest twist came toward the end of a tumultuous day at the White House.

President Trump lashed out at Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve. Powell, who Trump nominated for the role in 2018, had told a meeting of central bankers that the president's trade wars had complicated the Fed's ability to set interest rates and contributed to a global economic slowdown.

"Who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?" Trump reacted on Twitter, also referencing Chinese President Xi Jinping.

jsi/se (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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