As Washington and Beijing struggle to break a trade impasse, some administration advisers are urging President Donald Trump to raise the stakes with a sharp increase in the level of tariffs proposed for $200 billion in Chinese imports targeted for punitive measures.
Trump administration advisers are debating measures that might bring Chinese negotiators to the table. Some are pushing the president to apply 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, up from an original proposal for 10%.
The White House won’t make a final decision until late August on those tariffs, which are likely to target consumer goods and food as well as machinery components. Advisers are justifying the steeper tariffs, in part, to make up for the rapid depreciation of the yuan in recent months. Since May 30, the yuan has fallen 6% against the dollar.
“Once you go down the road of using tariffs to disrupt the Chinese, you have to say 25% compared to 10%,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute who advises the administration on trade.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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