WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he expected to move ahead with raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said it was “highly unlikely” he would accept China’s request to hold off on the increase, which is due to take effect on Jan. 1.
“The only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States,” Trump told the Journal. “As far as other countries are concerned, that’s up to them.”
Trump, who is due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week, said that if negotiations were unsuccessful, he would also put tariffs on the rest of Chinese imports.
“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” at a tariff rate of either 10 percent or 25 percent, Trump told the Journal.
He said the tariffs could also be placed on laptops and Apple Inc’s <AAPL.O> iPhones imported from China, and that any potential backlash from U.S. consumers could be tempered if the tariff rate was just 10 percent, according to the newspaper.
“Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” Trump said, referring to the possibility of tariffs on mobile phones and laptops, according to the Journal. “I mean, I can make it 10 percent, and people could stand that very easily.”
Shares in Apple Inc fell in after-hours trading after the interview was published.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Peter Cooney)