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Trump is set to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods

A potential trade war just as Trump needs China to deal with North Korea.

President Trump Marks 100 Days In Office With Rally In Pennsylvania Alex Wong/Getty Images
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

After doing battle over trade with America’s allies at the G7, Trump is now set to move ahead with $50 billion in tariffs against Chinese goods.

It’s not clear when the tariffs will go into effect, but CNN Money reports that they’ll be announced publicly on Friday.

The decision to slap billions of tariffs on Chinese goods came after a meeting of senior economic and trade officials at the White House on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

China has said it will retaliate on any US tariffs, which means Trump could end up with a trade war on multiple fronts. Trump has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. But a trade showdown with China would pit the world’s two largest economies against each other — at a time when the United States needs to leverage China’s help for a potential deal with North Korea.

The list of the Chinese imports taxed will likely look a lot like the list of 1,300 products the administration drew up in April, though with a few tweaks. According to the Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the matter said the United States trade representative “is expected to cut some of the products from the list and add others, especially high-tech items.” That will likely mean the tariffs will go into effect for different products at different times, to allow for public comment on the additions.

China had warned that it would impose its own tariffs on US exports back when the Trump administration first proposed the idea back in April. Officials said they would target goods such as soybean and automobiles — which could potentially hit hard states that voted for Trump.