President Trump, emboldened by a strong American economy and wary of criticism that an evolving trade deal with China would not adequately benefit the United States, threatened on Sunday to impose more punishing tariffs on Chinese goods in an attempt to force additional concessions in a final agreement.
In a pair of Twitter messages Sunday, Mr. Trump wrote he planned to raise levies on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% starting Friday, from 10% currently. He also wrote he would impose 25% tariffs “shortly” on $325 billion in Chinese goods that haven’t yet been taxed.
“The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate,” the president tweeted. “No!”
Mr. Trump’s tweets surprised many Chinese officials, according to a person briefed on the matter Monday, and China is considering canceling trade talks that are to resume in Washington starting Wednesday. There has been widespread expectations in recent days that an accord could be reached by Friday.
In a pair of tweets Sunday, the president wrote, “For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday.”
The president also said he will “shortly” impose a 25% tariff on the remaining $325 billion worth of Chinese goods that are currently not subject to punitive duties.