After becoming concerned that China was backing away from promised reforms, President Trump stated that he would increase the current 10% tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25%, a move that was originally due March 1, but was delayed to extend the talks and seek a better agreement.

The President also threatened to raise tariffs on the remaining $325 billion of Chinese imports that are so far untouched. This is the most significant escalation in rhetoric since before the tariff truce agreed on December 1 between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. The grievances at the center of the trade war with China (corporate espionage, hacking, forced technology transfer, and intellectual property theft) are difficult issues to resolve — and are now weighing on the ability of Washington and Beijing to close an agreement.

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