President Donald Trump will be moving forward with his threat to escalate tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods effective Friday, a top US trade negotiator said.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said China reneged on previous agreements over the weekend, derailing months of progress toward a detailed trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies.
As of Friday, penalties on $200 billion of Chinese goods will be lifted to 25% from 10%, as Trump tweeted on Sunday.
“We felt like we were on track to get somewhere,” Lighthizer told reporters. “We tried to accommodate changes in the text, but these are substantial and substantive changes.” He described the changes as “reneging on prior commitments.”
The news comes ahead of a delegation of Chinese negotiators arriving in Washington later this week.
The two men said the move to press ahead with tariffs is not a signal of a breakdown of talks.