Trump says he's willing to hit all Chinese imports with tariffs

The administration to date has slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in a trade dispute over what it calls the nation's predatory practices.

"I'm ready to go 500", the Republican leader told CNBC, referring to the $505.5 billion in Chinese imports into the United States in 2017.

The White House in June already threatened to extend punishing United States duties progressively to up to US$450 billion in Chinese imports.

The latest report, which cited a White House official, followed Trump's criticism on Thursday of the Fed's interest rate policy and the strong dollar, saying that it could hurt the USA economy.

The question is whether Trump's remarks mark the beginning of a new era of greater US intervention, one in which the president and members of his cabinet feel free to weigh in on economic issues that were traditionally seen as outside the political domain. The two countries have also targeted an additional $16 billion of each other's goods for an expected second round of tariffs.

His comments did not help to push the dollar down versus the yuan, however. "We have been ripped off by China for a long time, and I told that to President Xi".

His administration is considering tariffs of as much as 20% on United States automobile imports from Europe. "So somebody would say, "Maybe you shouldn't say that as a president"-I couldn't care less what they say because my views haven't changed".




Trump defended his comments to CNBC by saying he is "just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen". However, such a maneuver risks reigniting an outflow of capital that Beijing has spent months trying to halt.

Over the past three years, Beijing has gradually widened the narrow band in which the yuan is allowed to fluctuate, though regulators intervene regularly to guide its movement.

In the CNBC interview, Trump again claimed that the USA was "being taken advantage of" when it comes to trade policy. It points out the potential consequences trade escalations could have on American soybean exports, underscoring that China is the world's largest soy importer.

Auto tariffs would sharply escalate global trade tensions: The U.S. last year imported $192 billion in vehicles and $143 billion in auto parts - figures that dwarf last year's $29 billion in steel and $23 billion in aluminum imports. Past presidents have also steered clear of commenting on US monetary policy out of respect for the Fed's independence so the path of borrowing costs doesn't move with the whims of politicians.

After the interview, Mr Trump reiterated criticism of the Federal Reserve's planned interest-rate hikes, posting on Twitter that the tightening policy would diminish any U.S. trade advantage and exacerbate losses from "bad trade deals".

He said the Fed's course of tightening monetary policy "now hurts all that we have done".

Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, Powell cited "robust job gains" and an overall "solid pace of growth" as reasons for recent and future rate hikes. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high inflation.

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