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Trump orders officials to look at $100 billion in new Chinese tariffs

President Trump on Thursday ordered the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to consider slapping $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, escalating a heated trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

The move comes one day after China proposed $50 billion in tariffs on a variety of U.S. goods in response to Trump’s own tariff threat.

“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

Trump also ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to ready a plan to protect farming interests from possible Chinese trade actions.

The White House on Tuesday released a list of Chinese imports that could be subject to a 25 percent tariff, including electronics, shoes and furniture.

Republicans, and some Democrats, fear that imposing tariffs could spark a trade war that could stymie economic growth.

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