Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Despite the news this week that the US administration has proposed a new round of trade talks, President Donald Trump has reportedly instructed trade officials to impose tariffs on US$200 billion more worth of Chinese imports.

Bloomberg reported Trump’s decision on Friday, citing four sources familiar with the matter.

The move had been widely expected to come as early as two weeks ago, but has been held up as trade officials review comments submitted by hundreds of US companies. The escalation from imposing new duties on $50 billion worth of products to more than four times that figure has prompted a surge in lobbying efforts from major US corporations that will suffer collateral damage.

On Thursday, Trump reportedly met with trade advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is spearheading the effort to jumpstart talks with Beijing, where he indicated that he was not worried about the impact of tariffs.

The reported decision came after Trump wrote on Twitter that the US was under “no pressure” to back down in the trade conflict.

US stocks fell immediately after the news, but made up some losses by late Friday afternoon.

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