US President Donald Trump has upped the ante on China as his administration may be about to slap tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods. "I hate to this, but behind that there is another [US]$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want". To a certain extent it's going to be up to China.
Those steps include slapping tariffs on $60 billion of USA imports, Gao said.
"The $200bn we are talking about could take place very soon depending on what happens with them".
Given the smaller amount of goods China imports from the United States on which it could slap duties, Beijing has vowed to hit back with unspecified "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures, actions perceived within the USA business community as likely to be increased customs and regulatory scrutiny. "That changes the equation". Chinese officials may respond by subjecting American companies operating in China to unexpected tax audits, custom inspections or even consumer boycotts.
Mr Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its US$335 billion surplus with the US.
White House Economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC that talks between the US and China were ongoing. "In the meantime, we're taking in billions of dollars of taxes coming in from China, with the potential of billions and billions of dollars more taxes coming in".
Trump has been locked in a trade dispute with Beijing over China's policy of forcing United States companies to hand over trade secrets, as a price of doing business in China. And China has vowed to hit $60 billion in USA products in retaliation.
Speaking in a television interview, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that the administration would be reviewing the roughly 6,000 comments members of the public had made to the US Trade Representative on the $200bn proposals before deciding on how to proceed with the tariffs. Trump is "dead serious" in his determination to push China to reform its trade policies, he added. Those talks will continue to go on. "Lower barriers, open markets, quit stealing IP and technology", he said, using an abbreviation for intellectual property.
"We are puzzled as to why the Administration may be using tariffs in part to re-engineer global ICT (information, communication and technology) supply chains that have served USA companies so well". "But right now, we just can't make that deal", he said. "However, hope springs eternal".