President Donald Trump is readying a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods ahead of scheduled trade talks with Beijing, a senior administration official familiar with the matter told CNBC on Sunday, targeting 10 percent duties on $200 billion of goods.
The official effectively confirmed a Saturday report by The Wall Street Journal, which followedsimilar reporting on Friday from Bloomberg saying the president directed his aides to proceed with plans to hit China's imports again. While both sides are preparing to meet in order to dial back on trade tensions, Trump's latest actions may imperil those discussions, and may bring fresh retaliation from Beijing, The WSJ reported on Sunday.
The new 10 percent tariffs are below an original figure of 25 percent floated by the administration earlier, the WSJ reported. The president is also expected to threaten to hike tariffs again to squeeze Beijing at the negotiating table, but the Chinese have shown no public signs of bending.
The lower figure has a dual purpose: Diminishing the impact on U.S. consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season, while helping Republicans on the campaign trail ahead of the midterm elections. While voters give Trump high praise on the economy, numerous polls show the Democrats with a wide advantage, and show a public restive about the president's trade wars.