Donald Trump said, "I'm not doing this for politics, I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country. We've been ripped off by China for a long time."

US President Donald Trump Friday said he’s willing to hit all Chinese goods imported to the United States with tariffs if necessary. In a statement to news channel CNBC, the US President said, “I’m ready to go 500,” alluding to the USD 505.5 billion in Chinese imports into the US in 2017.

“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country. We’ve been ripped off by China for a long time,” he added.

Earlier this month, US imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. In retaliation, China levied taxes on the same value of US products. The United States then disputed the retaliatory tariffs at the World Trade Organization(WTO) on Monday, along with those the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey imposed in response to new U.S. duties on steel and aluminum. Also Read: China says will hit back after U.S. proposes fresh tariffs on $200 bln in goods

Beijing is targeting sectors, like agriculture, that could harm Trump politically at home, though he said in the CNBC interview that he is seeking to do only what is fair. There is already pushback in the US from businesses that will take a hit in an escalating trade war.

Trump has ordered Commerce to investigate whether auto imports pose a threat to U.S. national security that would justify tariffs or other trade restrictions. Earlier this year, he used national security as a justification for taxing imported steel and aluminum.

(With inputs from agencies)

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