By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
President Donald Trump said he would increase tariffs on Chinese imports in an escalation of a trade war between Washington and Beijing that rocked stock markets on Friday.
After China announced new levies on U.S. products earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products would rise to 30% starting Oct. 1.
Separately, the remaining $300 billion in imports will be tariffed at 15% instead of 10% on Sept. 1, the president said.
The intensifying trade brawl with China sent stocks plummeting on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -4.06% shedding more than 600 points. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -3.37% dropped 75 points and the Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -3.79% fell 239 points.
Trump had said earlier on Twitter that he was ordering U.S. companies to explore manufacturing in the U.S. instead of China. But U.S. presidents don’t have authority to order private companies to make their products in a given location.
In an extraordinary statement, Trump also questioned over Twitter who was the “bigger enemy” of the U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell or Chinese President Xi Jinping. Powell gave a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that did not promise any specific monetary-policy easing. Trump has long pressed the Fed to aggressively cut interest rates.