President Donald Trump doubled down Saturday on his decision to seek $100 billion more in tariffs on Chinese imports, declaring on Twitter that Beijing "must end unfair trade, take down barriers and charge only reciprocal tariffs."
"The United States hasn’t had a trade surplus with China in 40 years," the Trump said in his post. "Cannot continue."
Trump escalated tensions with China on Thursday when he asked the U.S. Trade Representative's Office to consider tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports, bringing to $150 billion the range of products from Beijing under consideration.
China has said it will respond proportionately, and has so far proposed duties on $50 billion in U.S. products, including cars, aircraft, whiskey and soybeans.
However, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that the U.S. and China were holding "back-channel discussions" to resolve the dispute that could seriously impact the world's two largest economies and has unsettled global financial markets.
"There are all kinds of back-channel discussions going on," Kudlow told reporters on Thursday.
Both Kudlow and Trump have insisted that the U.S. and China are not in a trade war.
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