New York (CNN)The Trump administration is preparing another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, ramping up the US-China trade war.
Tuesday’s action makes good on a threat President Donald Trump made last month. He directed Lighthizer to identify $200 billion in Chinese goods for tariffs if China retaliated against US penalties that are meant to punish the country for intellectual property theft.
The retaliatory tariffs that China enacted Friday targeted US cars and major agricultural goods, such as soybeans and meat.
“Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products,” Lighthizer said in a statement. “There is no justification for such action.”
“They continue to insist the problems we’ve identified are not real problems,” a senior administration official said.
The policy is a top concern for US officials. However, analysts say there’s little chance China will back down on the plan, which it considers crucial for developing its huge economy.
It wasn’t immediately clear how China would respond to the new tariff list. When Trump first threatened last month to target another $200 billion of Chinese products, Beijing said it would be “forced to strike back hard, and launch comprehensive measures that match the US move in quantity and quality.”
Analysts say the Chinese government could target trade in services between the two countries, such as tourism and education, or seek to make life difficult for big American companiesoperating in China.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to China’s mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy,” he said in a statement.
“Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise,” David French, the group’s senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement.