President Donald Trump said Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will increase to 25 percent on Friday, despite news in recent weeks that trade talks with Beijing were going well.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed Monday that importers will begin paying new tariffs “the first minute of Friday.”
The tariff rate on those goods was originally set at 10 percent. Trump had initially threatened to increase the tariffs at the start of the year, but postponed that decision after China and the U.S. agreed to sit down for trade talks.
In addition, Trump threatened to impose 25 percent tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods “shortly.”
The president said that trade talks with China are continuing but are moving too slowly as Beijing tries to re-negotiate.
The U.S. imports goods from China totaling $539.5 billion, and the trade deficit stood at $419.2 billion in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. If Trump follows through with his threats, virtually all goods imported from China to the U.S. would face some sort of tariff.
There had been multiple reports that China and the U.S. were close to a trade deal and an agreement could come as soon this week.