US President Donald Trump is now considering a 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports, rather than the 10 per cent previously touted, reports said Tuesday.
The US imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on $34 billion of Chinese products earlier this month, with plans to add another $16 billion of imports on Tuesday.
Trump initially threatened to levy 10 per cent on an additional $200 billion but that figure may now rise to 25 per cent, sources told the Washington Post and Bloomberg.
It would represent a ramping up of pressure over Washington’s trade standoff with Beijing.
In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that “blackmail and pressure from the US side will never work on China”.
“If the US takes measures to further escalate this situation, we will surely take counter-measures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests,” he told a regular briefing.
In 2017 the United States had a $376 billion trade deficit with China, which it is keen to reduce.
Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the US, which amounted to more than $500 billion last year.