Even before making a decision on whether to impose steep tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, President Donald Trump is considering new levies on an additional $267 billion worth of products from the Asian nation, according to White House pool reports.
"Now we've added another $200 billion," Trump told reporters. "And I hate to say that, but behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want. That totally changes the equation."
Trump made the comments aboard Air Force One as he traveled the morning of Sept. 7 to Fargo, N.D., from Billings, Mont., for a Republican party fundraiser.
The report immediately roiled markets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by nearly 125 points after the remarks become public just after noon ET. Similarly, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.29% at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately return a request for comment.
The proposed $200 billion tranche drew criticism from companies that warned of possible supply chain disruptions, lost jobs and increased costs for consumers. The list includes many types of consumer goods, including furniture, lamps, tilapia and mattresses. The public comment period on those tariffs ended Sept. 6, so the levies can be imposed at any time.
"The $200 billion we're talking about, could take place very soon, depending what happens with them," Trump said aboard Air Force One. "To a certain extent it's going to be up to China."
China has already readied retaliatory actions should Trump move ahead on the $200 billion tranche, The South China Morning Post reported.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said China will take "necessary countermeasures," according to the Sept. 6 report.
"Any measures pressuring China [to yield] will be ineffective, as the trade war can't solve any problems," the spokesperson said, according to the report.
China cannot match the tariffs dollar-for-dollar because the $200 billion figure eclipses the total dollar value of goods it imported from the U.S. in 2017.
The U.S. and China have already imposed tariffs of 25% on $50 billion on $34 billion and $16 billion of each others' goods, respectively.