US announces tariffs on $50B in Chinese goods, but Trump says 'no trade war'

China immediately said it would retaliate.

June 15, 2018, 2:25 PM

The U.S. will implement a tariff on $50 billion in goods from China, the White House announced Friday, setting up a back-and-forth with the country that quickly retaliated with a tariff on products from the U.S.

At the same time, President Donald Trump denied Friday that he was engaged in a "trade war" with China.

"This situation is no longer sustainable. China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology," Trump said in a statement announcing the move.

"We just announced very big tariffs today on China because China has been, you know, look, he is my friend, President Xi, he is a great man and a wonderful guy but at some point, we have to straighten it out. We lost $500 billion in trade deficits last year. We can't do that," Trump said later Friday morning on "Fox and Friends" broadcasting from the White House North Lawn.

"We'll do $50 billion, on $50 billion of high technology equipment and other things coming into the country because so much of our secrets, we have the great brain power in silicon valley and China and others. Steal those secrets. We'll protect those secrets. Those are crown jewels for this country," the president said.

Trump said the 25 percent tariff is supported by a report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that found China's trade practices related to technology and intellectual property are discriminatory and burden the U.S. economy. The tariff will affect mostly industrial products used by the aerospace, robotics, and information technology industries, according to the Office of the Trade Representative.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also tweeted that farmers have a lot to lose from Trump's trade wars.

Another Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, tweeted that the tariffs are an important step to reset the trade imbalance with China.

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