FAST FIVE: Stocks Slide After Trump's Top China Trade Advisor Says "Tariffs Could Go To 100%"

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Some more details: according to Pillsbury's SCMP interview, the United States is set to ramp up the pressure on China “if a trade deal is not agreed soon” noting that Washington has so far imposed only “low level tariffs” on the Asian giant.

According to Pillsbury, Trump had been “remarkably restrained in the pressure he has brought to bear on China in the trade field” – although we doubt Beijing would agree- adding that “the president has options to escalate the trade war” eyeing far higher tariffs: “These are low level tariffs that could go to 50 per cent or 100 per cent,” he said, adding that Trump's critics were wrong to assume the president was “just bluffing” when he threatened an all-out trade war.

For those unfamiliar, here is a reminder on Pillsbury's background: Pillsbury, the American director of the Centre on Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute in Washington, is known to speak to Trump regularly on China issues, but has said repeatedly that the president's “most important adviser on China is himself”.

Then again, Pillsbury does not necessarily agree with that designation: “I believe President Trump uses social media, especially on China, to convey his thinking.

So I reject the idea that I or anyone else is some kind of adviser to him on China,” he said.

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