The Trump administration plans to raise pending tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, a source familiar with discussions confirmed to CNN.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
The move, which is not finalized and could change, according to the source, comes as the United States and China remain locked in a trade war. Talks between US and Chinese officials have done little to ease tensions.
The United States has already imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion. China immediately responded with its own tariffs on US goods worth $34 billion.
A second round of tariffs on products worth $16 billion could take effect as soon as this week.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this month ratcheted up tensions when he released a list of thousands of additional Chinese exports worth $200 billion that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period. It included fruit and vegetables, handbags, refrigerators, rain jackets and baseball gloves.
Those tariffs, which might now be steeper, could go into effect as soon as September.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang responded to questions Wednesday about the possibility of the US raising tariffs on $200 billion in goods.
“China’s position is firm and clear cut,” Shuang told media at a regular press briefing in Beijing. “It remains unchanged. The blackmailing and pressure by the US will never work on China if the US take measures to further escalate the situation we will surely take countermeasures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests.
“As to communications and talks between the two sides the Chinese side always believe that the trade disputes shall be resolved through talks and negotiations and our sincerity and efforts are there for all the international community to see. I have to stress that dialog should be based on mutual respect and equality as well as established rules and credibility . Unilateral threats and pressure will only be counter productive.”