Trump’s not done.
Perhaps emboldened by three straight days of equity gains stateside despite the escalating trade rhetoric, the President has now instructed Lighthizer to look into additional tariffs on China. Apparently, this is some kind of follow up to the 301 probe.
“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs,” Trump said Thursday evening in a statement.
He’s also telling the Agriculture Secretary “to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect [America’s] farmers and agricultural interests.” Maybe the furious soybean growers got to him.
“Any additional tariffs proposed will be subject to a similar public comment process as the proposed tariffs announced on April 3, 2018,” Lighthizer said in a statement of his own, adding that “no tariffs will go into effect until the respective process is complete.”
It’s not entirely clear what Trump means by “China’s unfair retaliation” considering that just yesterday, Wilbur Ross spent all morning explaining how Beijing’s retaliatory measures were “proportionate” and “expected” and how no one should be “surprised.”
One person who is apparently “surprised” is Trump – or maybe his pride is just hurt by all of the gloating from the Chinese propaganda machine, but whatever the case, he’s taking shit up another notch and it had an immediate impact on markets. We’ll see how it plays out overnight.
Sorry Larry Kudlow, looks like you’re finding out what Gary Cohn found out: you cannot reason with Trump and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
trump summing up this month so far… pic.twitter.com/SBWf5Z7zMl
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) April 5, 2018