US Tariffs on Chinese goods ‘could go to 50 per cent or 100% if no deal secured – SCMP

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  • Tariffs on Chinese goods ‘could go to 50 per cent or 100%’, leading White House adviser says.
  • US-China decoupling would be a ‘consequence of no agreement’ by Beijing.

Michael Pillsbury, Donald Trump’s adviser on China, says that the president is ready to escalate the trade war if a deal is not agreed soon.

The South China Morning Post has released a piece on the status quo with respect to the Chinese and US trade war. The article describes the stance that Trump may enact should there not be a solution to the dispute at the next meetings around, scheduled for the next coming weeks.

The articles read as follows:

The United States is set to ramp up the pressure on China if a trade deal is not agreed soon, a key White House adviser said, adding that Washington has so far imposed only “low level tariffs” on the Asian giant.
Described by US President Donald Trump as “the leading authority on China”, Michael Pillsbury said in an interview in Hong Kong on Thursday that Trump had been “remarkably restrained in the pressure he has brought to bear on China in the trade field”.
“Does the president have options to escalate the trade war? Yes, the tariffs can be raised higher. These are low level tariffs that could go to 50 per cent or 100 per cent” he said, adding that Trump’s critics were wrong to assume the president was “just bluffing” when he threatened an all-out trade war.
“There are other options involving the financial markets, Wall Street, you know, the president has a whole range of options,” he said.

Pillsbury, the American director of the Centre on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute in Washington, is known to speak to Trump regularly on China issues, but has said repeatedly that the president’s “most important adviser on China is himself”.

“I believe President Trump uses social media, especially on China, to convey his thinking. So I reject the idea that I or anyone else is some kind of adviser to him on China,” he said. “His focus is revealed frequently in the tweets that I think everybody should take very seriously as presidential statements.”

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