Agencies (Qasioun) - U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies quickly escalated.
In a statement, Trump said he had asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify the Chinese products to be subject to the new tariffs.
He said the move was in retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.
"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," Trump said.
The news sent global stock markets lower and pulled down both the dollar and the Chinese yuan in the offshore market.
On Friday, Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.
Some of those tariffs will be applied from July 6, while the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States by June 30.
"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong," he said.
Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. move, "we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods."
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office said the new list would replace the previous $100 billion list that Trump ordered to be prepared in early April as a response to China's first round of $50 billion in retaliatory tariffs.
Trump said he has "an excellent relationship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they "will continue working together on many issues."
But, Trump said, "the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world."
According to U.S. data, China imported $129.89 billion of U.S. goods last year, while the U.S. purchased $505.47 billion of Chinese products.