- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2018

President Trump said Thursday that the administration has prepared another round of tariffs on nearly $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, as the trade war between the world’s two largest economist beings to escalate.

Mr. Trump said the added measures would follow a 25 percent tariff being imposed Friday on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. It puts a total of $550 billion in goods in the crosshairs of pending tariffs.

“You have another [$16 billion] in two weeks and then as you know we have $200 billion in abeyance and then after the $200 billion we have $300 billion in abeyance,” Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One.

He added, “It’s only on China.”

The president blames Beijing’s unfair trade practices with driving up America’s annual trade deficit with China to $375 billion last year.

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government accused the U.S. of “firing first” in the trade war and vowed to shoot back.

“China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail, nor will it be shaken in its resolve to defend global free trade,” Gao Feng, spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry.

Beijing vowed to retaliate Friday with higher tariffs on $34 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Economists expect tit-for-tat tariffs to drive up prices paid by U.S. consumers and force job cuts in industries that rely on sales to China.

The 25 percent tariff taking effect Friday will hit products including machinery, auto parts, medical equipment, rare earth metals and vaping devices.

Beijing is retaliating with tariffs on U.S. goods including soybeans, sorghum and cotton, intended to inflict pain on farm states that backed Mr. Trump in 2016.

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