Trump just announced that he's moving ahead with a tariff of 10 percent on all Chinese goods that aren't already subject to tariffs, but he's already saying he could increase those tariffs.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump said he could increase his tariffs on over $300 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent or even higher than 25 percent.
"The 10% is for a short-term period, and then I can always do much more or less depending on what happens with respect to a deal," Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn.
"This can be lifted in stages or it can be taken off," he said. "We are starting at 10% and it can be lifted to well beyond 25%, but we're not looking to do that necessarily. But this would be done in stages."
When Trump says they're "not looking to do that necessarily," you can bet that he is looking to do that.
The fact that he's already talking about it tells us all we need to know and this should be taken as what we can expect to see in the coming months.
For their part, the Chinese say they will not compromise their national sovereignty to feed Trump's ego.
“If the U.S. is going to implement the additional tariffs, China will have to take necessary countermeasures,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Friday. She didn’t elaborate on what the measures would be.
“China won’t accept any maximum pressure, threat, or blackmailing, and won’t compromise at all on major principle matters,” Hua said.
China's Ministry of Commerce also released a statement that said "all the consequences" of Trump's actions will be "borne by the United States."
Needless to say, if Trump does increase tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent or higher, that would be apocalyptic for American retailers and average consumers. It would be for me personally as I can barely afford to buy new clothes even now before they're subjected to tariffs.