President Donald Trump said Thursday that he could raise tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods above 25%.
Stocks fell sharply earlier in the day following the president's announcement that the U.S. will impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods starting Sept. 1.
"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."
The president said he was not concerned about the market drop following Thursday's tariff announcement.
The new tariffs come as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are stalled. Trump said China had failed to meet promises with regard to purchases of American agricultural goods. He also blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to block sales of the synthetic opioid Fentanyl to the United States.
The new tariffs are in addition to the 25% rate on a separate $250 billion in Chinese imports.