WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is not backing down on China, threatening the country with tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods.
"We are talking cell phones, computers, toys and electric gadgets we get from China," said economist Stephen Moore, who served as a senior economic advisor to the Trump campaign.
Trump's move comes after China slapped the US with $50 billion in tariffs, a retaliation for previous US duties on Chinese goods.
"Our past leaders should have never allowed China to get to a point where there is a $500 billion trade deficit with the United States," Trump said.
"And they're accusing us of not playing by the rules. I mean come on – what's wrong with that picture?" said Moore.
China calls the latest action by the Trump administration "blackmail" and is prepared to up the ante with more retaliatory tariffs.
CBN News White House Correspondent Ben Kennedy asked Moore if this move by the president could spark a trade war.
"It could. We could see a trade – I don't want to see one. Donald Trump doesn't want to see one," he told CBN News.
On Monday, China and the European Union agreed to start a group aimed to update global trade rules.
"I don't expect these negotiations to be easy," EU Vice President Jyrki Katainen said. But if nothing is done, "the environment for multilateral trade will vanish," he warned.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defended Trump's tariffs during a recent Senate Finance Committee Hearing where lawmakers expressed their concerns.
"I don't think the Chinese want a trade war any more than we do," Ross said.
Sen. John Thune (R-SC) warned, "With every passing day, the United States loses market share to other countries – product market, some of it unlikely to be recaptured."
Moore says the odds are good that both sides will meet soon to stop the tariffs.
In the meantime, expect more tough talk until they reach a compromise.