President Donald Trump is expected to announce Friday that he has decided to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in response to U.S. concerns about theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, a source briefed on the matter said.
A White House spokeswoman confirmed that Trump has made a decision about the tariffs, but declined to say what the decision is. “I’m not going to get out ahead of the announcement,” she said.
But on May 29, the White House said it would announce by June 15 a list of Chinese imported goods that will be slapped with 25 percent tariffs.
The tariffs will not go into effect immediately, but Trump has said that he wants them to be imposed by the end of the month, if not sooner, an administration official said Thursday.
The authorizing statute for the tariffs allows the Office of the .S. Trade Representative to take up to 30 days to put the duties in place after a formal determination is published.
A private sector source said Thursday that he was told Trump will announce as early as 8 a.m. Friday that he has decided to impose the tariffs, despite China’s threat to retaliate on an equal amount of U.S. agricultural, chemical and other products.
The private sector source said he was expecting some changes in the composition of the final list, with potentially billions of dollars of tariff items being dropped and billions of dollars of other tariff items being added. Any additions may require another public comment period to give interested parties a chance to weigh in, he said.
In early April, the USTR published a list of 1,300 items from China that would be targeted. The final list could contain fewer pharmaceutical products and more technology goods, two private sector sources following the process told POLITICO.
The White House had said last month that it would target "industrially significant" technology and products as an effort to protect U.S. intellectual property. It also said it would punish China with broad investment restrictions to be announced by June 30.
Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia contributed to this report.