Trump Ready to Put Tariffs on $500B of Chinese Imports, CNBC Reports

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he was poised to impose tariffs on $500 billion of goods from China, threatening in an interview with CNBC to escalate the current trade clash with the Asian nation.

“We’re down a tremendous amount,” Trump said in the interview, which was recorded on Thursday, about trade imbalances with China. “I’m ready to go to 500.”

Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. In return, China levied taxes on the same value of U.S. products. The United States then disputed the retaliatory tariffs at the World Trade Organization on Monday, along with those the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey imposed in response to new U.S. duties on steel and aluminum .

When asked about the stock market possibly falling if the United States imposes such a large amount of duties, Trump said: “If it does, it does. Look, I’m not doing this for politics.” (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu, writing by Lisa Lambert, editing by Larry King)

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