The US could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion-worth of imports from China, targeting technology and telecoms, as President Donald Trump looks to ramp up restrictions on Chinese companies operating in the country.
Sources told Reuters the tariffs will mainly focus on information technology, consumer electronics and telecoms and up to 100 products could eventually be involved. The news outlet reported the President is retaliating against Chinese investment policies which force US companies to give up technology secrets to be allowed to operate in the country.
The administration also took issue with some IP practices in China. In addition, the US government is also considering imposing investment restrictions on Chinese companies beyond those already applied or being planned, on the grounds of national security.
Indeed, the US has been increasingly wary of national security, particularly with regards to telecoms and technology.
Just this week, Trump issued an unprecedented presidential order blocking Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm due to national security concerns. Broadcom is currently based in Singapore, but had planned to relocate to the US.
China-based vendor Huawei had also been subject to increased scrutiny in the US, with operator AT&T forced to drop a partnership with the company at the start of the year. US government officials have also called for a reduction on the use of telecoms equipment manufactured by Huawei and ZTE in the country.
Regarding the tariffs, Chinese foreign ministry representative Lu Kang reportedly said trade relations should not be a zero-sum game.
Last week, Trump also set tariffs on the import of aluminum and steel.