President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was ridiculed by the "fake news" Trump thanks North Korea's Kim for promise to denuclearize during his tenure No NFL players visibly kneel during season opener MORE most recently on Friday threatened to impose another $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese products, on top of $200 billion in tariffs he promised one day earlier.
If the administration moved ahead, it would more than cover the entire value of goods imports from China, according to USA government data from previous year.
The two governments already have imposed penalty duties on $50 billion of each other's exports.
Trump's threat to escalate USA tariffs on Chinese imports contributed to a decline on Wall Street, with stock index futures dropping on concern that companies and workers would likely endure some financial pain. The United States buys about 20% of China's exports, but trade has shrunk over the past decade as a share of the Chinese economy.
Should the U.S. slap tariffs on an additional amount of Chinese goods of that scale, the total value subjected to the duties would be around that of total imports to the United States from China.More news: Kaepernick watches ad's TV debut at Nike HQ
There's no final decision on that round of tariffs as the U.S. Trade Representative's office continues to "run their process", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said on Friday.
While Trump was waving his proverbial stick, Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow made a paltry attempt to offer something of a carrot on Friday, saying that the United States is up for talks and that there is "constant communication".
"We are still talking with China on a number of issues", said Kudlow. An opportunity could take place when world leaders gather at the UN General Assembly in NY this month and the Group of 20 summit in Argentina in November, he said.
Guajardo said Thursday it would be "very strange" to sign a new NAFTA "when this trade war is pending". Trump is "dead serious" in his determination to push China to reform its trade policies, he added. Letters were submitted by tech companies like Dell and Cisco Systems, a coalition of the National Retail Federation and 150 other organizations urging the USTR not to go for more tariffs, . saying it would raise costs for consumers and delay investment.
Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met USA requests.
"Tit-for-tat tariffs are counterproductive and so far have only produced increased costs for American businesses, farmers, importers, exporters and consumers, " the coalition said.