White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow announced during an interview on Monday that President Donald Trump would likely be imposing new tariffs on a “couple hundred billion” worth of imports from China. This corroborates earlier reports from Monday, which cited an anonymous senior administration official.
What are the details?
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that President Trump was planning on imposing tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China. These new tariffs would reportedly take effect “within weeks.”
A second administration official told CNBC that the cost of these tariffs would amount to 10 percent of all imports targeted, down from earlier estimates of 25 percent.
During a CNBC interview at the Economic Club of New York, Kudlow confirmed this account, although he refused to give any additional specifics:
The president has suggested, tariffs on a couple hundred billion dollars. He has not been satisfied with the talks with China on this. My guess is announcements will be coming soon, but, again, I don't want to frontrun him on that. I think the basic stories are probably more or less correct.
Straight out of our meetings one of the things I've learned, it's quite remarkable, is: to have a high level meeting, all the phones have to leave the room, right? But you may as well have a direct mic into the Wall Street Journal.
Kudlow also insisted that “the tariffs story may be a very good force for good.”
Trump threatened tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports in June. If this new round of tariffs are implemented, the Trump administration will have imposed tariffs on nearly half ($250 billion) of all U.S. imports from China, which totaled $505.6 billion in 2017. Imports from China for the first seven months of the year were up 9 percent in 2018.
On Sept. 7, the president said he had tariffs on “another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want.”
During a CNBC interview in June, Trump said he would be willing to slap tariffs on every last import from China.