President Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One Friday that he was “ready to go” on tariffs for another $267 billion in Chinese goods “if he wants,” which would come on top of the $200 billion in goods already targeted, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.
Already the administration was set to announce it would impose the tariffs on the $200 billion in goods, after threatening them in an ongoing and escalating dispute with China. A public comment period on this set of tariffs expired Thursday in the U.S. China’s commerce ministry has said the country would retaliate if the U.S. imposes new tariffs.
The world’s two largest economies have already applied tariffs to $50 billion of each other’s goods. Talks aimed at easing tensions ended last month without major breakthroughs, and Washingtonappears emboldened by a sell-off in Chinese markets and a weakening economy.
Trump said Wednesday he was not prepared to make a deal with China “that they’d like to make.” Still, he added, his administration will “continue to talk to China.”
Trump’s remarks to reporters on Friday sparked a 100-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average around 12 p.m. ET, with the apparent escalation in the trade tensions with China.
Huileng Tan contributed reporting.