US President Donald Trump has told the told the top economic and trade brass of the United States to consider whacking a $100 billion tariff on top of the existing tariffs on Chinese goods. This is an erratic move by a wild card in a rapidly escalating Trade War between the two nations. While it is just a move that is in consideration and nothing is concrete on paper yet, this will raise the stakes and the tensions between the US and China on the trade front.

In a statement released yesterday, Trump said that he decide to propose a huge hike in the tariffs on Chinese goods “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” towards previous moves on trade enforced on them by the US government.

He added that the guys in charge of US trade laws and tariffs have noticed that the Chinese government have “repeatedly” taken part in activities and practices that seek “to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.”

Trump has told the leading officials at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the guys who are in charge of any government policies relating to trade, to mull over this potential new $100 billion tariff. $100 billion is a lot of money, even to a leading world superpower, so the US trade representatives’ job is to look into the bylaws and subsections of Section 301 and decide whether or not these new tariffs would be appropriate. If they are, then they need to decide which Chinese products exactly they should be enforced upon.

US Secretary of Agriculture has been roped into the economic conflict

The US Secretary of Agriculture has now been involved in this trade war, as he has been tasked by Trump will putting in place “a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.” The President said that the Chinese government’s response to previous trade moves and US punitive measures were “to harm [American] farmers and manufacturers,” instead of fixing the situation.

This is all a matter of opinion and perception, of course, but that’s how Trump sees it and he’s not too happy about it.

Trump blames China’s own trade policies and US deals for the shutting down of factories across America, which have resulted in the loss of millions of jobs for US citizens. One of the biggest promises that Trump was riding on throughout his ultimately successful campaign was the promise of bringing back industry and reopening all the factories and coal mines that had closed in the US and been outsourced to foreign countries, so this would be a bold move in that direction.

The President has already tried to push through tariffs on foreign imports of various metals.

China will fight US trade policies ‘at any cost’

The commerce chief of the Chinese government has released a furious statement today in response to the proposed tariff, calling it “ridiculous” and saying that they will fight with the US leadership on their trade policies and tariff proposals “at any cost,” although it seems very likely that this cost will end up being $100 billion. This Chinese trade boss said in the same statement that the threat of this tariff shows the “deep arrogance” shown towards the Chinese government by “some American elites.”

The “arrogance” that he is referring to is pretty plainly written on the wall.

Trump has only decided to propose a $100 billion tariff on Chinese goods after China proposed a $50 billion tariff on US goods. So, without thinking it through completely, Trump has told his trade people to do the same, but double it! And China only did that, in a move that Trump called “unfair retaliation,” because the US had announced a $50 billion tariff of its own 11 hours prior.