According to Bloomberg sources, President Donald Trump has approved placing tariffs on USD 50 billion worth of Chinese exports, and an official announcement is expected on Friday.
The green light came after the president met with top economic officials on Thursday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
This is a serious escalation of trade tensions between the US and China, and comes after Trump has just picked fights with allies Canada, Mexico and the EU over steel and aluminium.
China has said that it would respond with their own retaliatory tariffs on USD 50 billion of US exports like cars, planes or soybeans.
After the two countries threatened each other with tariffs since March, in mid-May they both announced a ceasefire after two rounds of trade negotiations. China pledged to “significantly increase” its purchase of US goods to reduce the trade imbalance. However, 10 days later the White House said it would proceed with the tariffs and place new limits on Chinese investments in the US.
A third round of trade talks this month failed to resolve the issue.