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President Trump speaks to business leaders in Beijing, China. Photo: Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump announced in a statement Monday night that, in addition to the administration's recently-announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China, he has also directed the United States Trade Representative "to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent."

Why it matters: Trump initially warned China against retaliating to his administration's latest round of sanctions, but China ignored it and imposed their own tariffs of equal measure. This latest threat is Trump's second warning, in which he clearly states: "these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced."

The bottom line: The back-and-forth tariff fight between the U.S. and China is increasingly looking like a trade war.

Key lines from Trump's statement:

  • "China has determined that it will raise tariffs on $50 billion worth of United States exports.  China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices."
  • "This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods.  This is unacceptable."
  • "[T]oday, I directed the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.  After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced."
  • "If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.  The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable."

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Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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