President Donald Trump will announce new tariffs 800-900 Chinese products, according to sources who spoke with CNBC. The interview was conducted on Tuesday aboard Air Force One after Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
China is widely seen as one of the big winners of Trump's meeting with Kim as it hopes to maintain stability in its neighboring country and boost trade.
"Sanctions can be adjusted accordingly, including suspending or lifting relevant measures", said Geng Shuang, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, responding to a CNN question about sanctions relief Wednesday.
US trade officials were meeting at the White House on Thursday afternoon to discuss the issue, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arguing against the move, the official said. I mean you'll see over the next couple of weeks. "As we have said repeatedly, tariffs are taxes on American consumers and will put good-paying USA manufacturing jobs at risk", said Dennis Slater, president, Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
The White House has said it is proceeding with plans to impose duties on US$50 billion (S$66.7 billion) of Chinese goods, after weeks of high-level discussions between the USA and China yielded little progress over a trade deal.
The Trump administration is due to release a final list of Chinese import targets by June 15, and planned investment restrictions and export controls will follow on June 30. But at the latest round of talks in Beijing, Xi's government warned that it would withdraw any commitments if Trump carries out his threat to impose duties.
Agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help as the Trump administration prepares to levy trade tariffs on China. "When it finally happens maybe the markets will wake up and realize, wow, this is actually happening".
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If the president presses forward, it could set the stage for more trade actions against China and lead to retaliation from Beijing. Later, the president disclosed that they were not for national security purposes by any means, but rather because of current exchange hindrances confronting US exports.
China has proposed what it calls a dual suspension, whereby North Korea suspends nuclear and missile tests, and South Korea and the United States suspend military drills so they can sit down for talks.
Speculation that China is allowing more trade across its border with North Korea has grown recently, based largely on media reports citing anecdotal evidence.
The tariffs move would come against the backdrop of heightened tensions between America and its traditional trading and security partners.
"He ran on Making America Great Again and to put America first and he's doing just what he said, so we shouldn't be surprised at that", she said.
Nearly 125 companies testified in Washington during three days of hearings last month to collect feedback over the tariffs.
The administration is now considering a separate list of additional items that would be subject to more public input and on which tariffs could be imposed at a later date.