“At the request of the vice premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will [sic], to move the increased Tariffs on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods (25% to 30%), from October 1st to October 15th,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Wednesday’s announcement came 10 days after the U.S. imposed 15 percent tariffs on about $112 billion of Chinese imports, the latest salvos in an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. In total, Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese products, or almost everything the United States buys from there.
After Trump proposed tariff increases on billions in Chinese products in August, Beijing responded with increased tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. products. Trump called the move “politically motivated.”
“For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more. Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight,” Trump tweeted Aug. 23. “Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!”
Earlier in the day, the president had “ordered” American companies to relocate back to the U.S. instead of doing business in China.
“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing … your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” Trump said.
“Because of the tariffs, we’re in an incredible negotiating position,” Trump said Aug. 30, “and we happen to be taking in billions and billions and billions of dollars.”
University of Maryland business professor Peter Morici recently told Fox News that tariffs aren’t going to affect the average American “as much as critics say.”
Even more tariffs loom on the horizon. On Dec. 15, the Trump administration is scheduled to impose a second round of 15 percent tariffs — this time on roughly $160 billion of imports. If those duties take effect, virtually all goods imported from China will be covered, including all major Apple products.
The Chinese government has released a list of American imports targeted for penalties on Dec. 15 if the U.S. tariff hikes take effect. In total, Beijing says Sunday’s penalties and the planned December increases will apply to $75 billion of American goods.
Fox News’ Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.