United States President Donald Trump has instructed staff to move forward with the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods, US media have reported. The tariffs are expected to apply to about US$ 200bn worth of imports from China, including electronic parts and consumer goods such as handbags.
It remains unclear when the new import taxes - which could be as high as 25% - will go into effect. Officials are reportedly still working on the final list of products.
President Trump ordered his staff to start preparing the tariffs this summer, escalating a dispute over what the US says are China's unfair trade practices, such as state subsidies.
The new duties would add to tariffs the US has already imposed on US$50 bn in Chinese goods as part of that dispute, as well as tariffs that China levied on US$ 50bn in US goods in retaliation.
Friday's news reports that Trump has ordered the US to proceed with further tariffs quoted administration sources. There has so far been no formal announcement.
However, Trump has repeatedly signaled his willingness to impose the new duties, despite warnings from economists and widespread opposition in the US among the business community. Trump on Thursday said the United Sates is under no pressure to strike a deal.
On 7 September, Trump said tariffs on US$ 200bn in goods could take place very soon and added that tariffs on a further US$ 267bn in goods were ready to go on short notice if I want.
Bloomberg News, which first reported the president's decision, said a public order had been delayed as the administration revises the final list of products. US stocks sank on the news.