Trump announces plan to raise tariffs on Chinese goods as trade talks continue

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
President Trump with China's Vice Premier Liu He, Washington, 4 April 2019
President Trump with China's Vice Premier Liu He, Washington, 4 April 2019   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he is increasing tariffs on hundreds of billons of dollars in Chinese goods because trade talks between the two countries are not progressing as fast as he'd like.

"For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods," Trump wrote in a two-part Twitter post. "These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%."

"The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China," he continued. "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"

Trump's announcement comes as Chinese officials arrive in Washington for a late-stage round of talks on a trade agreement this week, and his administration officials have expressed optimism about the negotiations. Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the talks "remain focused toward making substantial progress on important structural issues and re-balancing the US-China trade relationship."

On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC the president was hopeful a deal could be struck.

The comments come as China's top trade envoy, Liu He, visits Washington, D.C., this week for continued negotiations.

Trump had previously delayed the tariff increases earlier in the year, citing productive talks with China.

Trump has used tariffs as a way to pressure foreign nations to acquiesce to his trade demands, although tariffs can drive up prices of the products for businesses and consumers.