(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump threatened to retaliate if China targets politically potent U.S. agricultural products for counter-tariffs, following an escalation in his trade war with Beijing.
Trump ordered his administration to levy 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods next week and to more than double the rate in January if Beijing refuses to offer trade concessions. The Chinese said they would retaliate for the latest round of duties, which come on top of a 25 percent tariff already imposed on about $50 billion in Chinese goods.
The president responded in a pair of tweets on Tuesday that recognized the potential political harm to him and his party if China targets American agriculture.
The 10 percent U.S. tariff will take effect on Sept. 24, and an escalation to 25 percent in January was delayed in order to give U.S. companies an opportunity to adjust their supply chains, two senior administration officials said in a briefing for reporters on Monday. Trump has demanded that the Chinese take steps to narrow the country’s trade surplus with the U.S. and also cease trade practices that he maintains have forced American companies to surrender technology if they want access to China’s markets.
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