Trump to meet with top trade advisers to activate China tariffs

Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with his top trade advisers on Thursday to decide whether to activate threatened tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods, a senior Trump administration official said. Trump is due to unveil revisions to his initial tariff list targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday. People familiar with the revisions said that the list will be slightly smaller than the original, with some goods deleted and others added, particularly in the technology sector.

It remains unclear when Trump would activate the tariffs if he decides to do so. Several industry lobbyists told that they expect the move to come as early as Friday, with publication of a Federal Register notice, or it could be put off until next week. Under the 1974 trade law that Trump invoked to pursue a tariff investigation into China’s intellectual property practices, he could delay the activation by 30 days. He can also delay the tariffs by another 180 days if the U.S. Trade Representative’s office finds that negotiations with China are yielding progress.

But that recommendation came prior to Trump’s trip late last week to Canada for the G7 leaders summit and to Singapore for the nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump told Fox News in an interview aired on Wednesday that he was “very strongly clamping down on trade” with China. Asked how strong, Trump said: “Well, I think very strongly. I mean you’ll see over the next couple of weeks. They understand what we are doing.”

Trump did not specifically mention the tariffs and added that he has “a very good relationship with President Xi (Jinping) of China. ”Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier this month met with Chinese officials in Beijing and brought back a Chinese proposal to purchase around $70 billion worth of additional commodities and manufactured goods. But that offer has not been accepted by Trump, people familiar with the matter said.

The administration’s trade hawks, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro, have been pushing for a tougher approach to the negotiations to address U.S. allegations that China has misappropriated American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, state-backed acquisitions of U.S. technology firms and outright theft.