VOA State Department Correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report.
WHITE HOUSE — The trade war between Washington and Beijing further escalated Friday.
The United States will add to tariffs on Chinese products, President Donald Trump announced.
Terming China's announcement on Friday of additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of American products "politically motivated," Trump said he was retaliating by increasing the 25% tax on $250 billion in goods from China to 30%, effective Oct. 1.
Additionally, Trump announced on Twitter, the tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese goods to be imposed on Sept. 1 will rise from the 10% level to 15%.
....Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
...Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%. Thank you for your attention to this matter!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Hours earlier, Trump declared he was "ordering" American companies "to immediately start looking for alternatives to China" after Beijing announced it was raising tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods and resuming 25% tariffs on American autos, in retaliation against Trump's Sept. 1 duty increase.
Trump did not explain under what authority he was making the order to American industry.
In a series of tweets, the U.S. president said the companies should bring their manufacturing home.
Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
....your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States. Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, said: "This is not how you negotiate. This is a tit-for-tat exercise that is hurting Americans and distracting from the task at hand — creating a sustainable trade agreement that solves long-standing and deep-seated issues."
"The administration needs to rise above the fray and start negotiating for the American people," Helfenbein added.
The escalating trade war unsettled markets on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average of the New York Stock Exchange closed off more than 620 points, a loss of 2.37%.
Trump also criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Twitter, both before and after he made a closely watched speech at the institution's annual symposium in the state of Wyoming.
Powell indicated that the Federal Reserve, which cut interest rates last month for the first time in a decade, was willing to make another reduction to keep the U.S. economy growing, but he did not specify the amount or the timing of such action.
That angered the president, who tweeted: "As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly."
The president then added: "My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or (Chinese Communist Party) Chairman Xi?" Xi is also China's president.
As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
....My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Trump has repeatedly referred to Xi as a friend and touted their relationship as a way to achieve significant breakthroughs on trade and other major issues.
China's commerce ministry, earlier in the day, stated it would be imposing additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the U.S., including agricultural products, crude oil, small aircraft and cars.
Chinese tariffs on some U.S. products will take effect Sept. 1 and others on Dec. 15.
"America's manufacturing workers will bear the brunt of these retaliatory tariffs, which will make it even harder to sell the products they make to customers in China," according to Jay Timmons, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Manufacturers.
"While we share the president's frustration, we believe that continued, constructive engagement is the right way forward," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Time is of the essence. We do not want to see a further deterioration of U.S.-China relations."
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday said discussions this week between deputy-level negotiators were constructive.
In response to a question from VOA, Kudlow said there were still plans for the Chinese trade negotiating team "to come over here in September."
Analysts are expressing fears that if there is no truce soon in the trade war with China, that could lead to a recession in the United States.