US hikes tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports

The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% early Friday. China's Commerce Ministry said it would impose "necessary countermeasures" but gave no details.

President Trump said there is “no need to rush” a trade deal with China, touting what he sees as the economic benefits of a new round of tariffs that went into effect just after midnight.

“Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do,” Trump tweeted in a lengthy thread in his first comments since the tariffs were officially implemented.

“Our Farmers will do better, faster, and starving nations can now be helped. Waivers on some products will be granted, or go to new source!”

The president continued, saying that money raised from the tariffs could be used for “infrastructure, Healthcare or anything else.”

“If we bought 15 Billion Dollars of Agriculture from our Farmers, far more than China buys now, we would have more than 85 Billion Dollars left over for new Infrastructure, Healthcare, or anything else. China would greatly slow down, and we would automatically speed up!”

The administration hiked tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of imports from China as representatives from Beijing arrived for continued negotiations in Washington this week.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it “deeply regrets” the U.S. decision, according to a Reuters report, and threatened retaliation, saying that Beijing would take necessary countermeasures.

The president has long railed against what he sees are unfair trading practices by traditional friends and foes alike, using tariffs to rectify what he sees as imbalances with China as well as some U.S. allies in Europe.

Trump issued an international ultimatum Friday, saying countries should build products in the U.S. if they did not want to be on the receiving end of new tariffs.

"Build your products in the United States and there are NO TARIFFS!"

Trump said the latest levies on Beijing will be used to buy agricultural products from U.S. farmers, which will then be sent as humanitarian assistance to impoverished countries.

A tariff hike had originally been paused as Washington and Beijing attempted to hammer out the details of an agreement, but the measures were renewed after the Trump administration accused China of reneging on previously agreed upon terms.

“China reneged on a dozen things, if not more. ... The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” a source familiar with the negotiations told Reuters. “After 20 years of having their way with the U.S., China still appears to be miscalculating with this administration.”

Trump appeared to reference China's shifting stances, saying he "got tired of waiting for China to help out."

The president has often claimed that tariffs will benefit America, saying Friday that the payments from the levies will “go directly to the Treasury of the U.S.”

However, many experts say that since tariffs are applied on foreign goods purchased in the U.S., the costs often get passed down to U.S consumers when retailers or other importers charge higher prices.

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