Statement on China-United States Trade
My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country's relationship with China are both very important to me. Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair for a very long time. 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. These practices, documented in an extensive report published by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on March 22, 2018, harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China.
In light of China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the United States will implement a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies. This includes goods related to China's Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries. The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices.
These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs. In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China.
The United States will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products; raising nontariff barriers; or taking punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China.
Donald J. Trump, Statement on China-United States Trade Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333083