Trump to meet with advisers Thursday about December 15 tariffs on China - sources

 Trump to meet with advisers Thursday about December 15 tariffs on China - sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with top advisers on Thursday about planned Dec. 15 tariffs on nearly $160 billion in Chinese consumer goods, three sources familiar with the plans said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro will participate in the meeting, but the final decision will be up to Trump, the sources said.

Emails had been circulated among a small group of senior officials in recent days, arguing that previous tariffs had had a muted impact on the U.S. economy, a separate source familiar with the administration's thinking said.

"I'm expecting them to raise the tariffs on Sunday," said the source. "The administration is preparing its talking points about how that's the right thing to do. The message is that it will not be painful."

A decision to move ahead with the December tariffs could roil financial markets and scuttle U.S.-China talks to end the 17-month-long trade war between the world's two largest economies for the remainder of Trump's term.

Navarro, a China hawk, this week circulated a memo in favour of continued tariffs, arguing that China has increased its purchases of U.S. pork and soybeans solely because of its domestic swine fever outbreak, and that tariffs are not having a negative effect on U.S. growth or the stock market.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, David Lawder and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2019 06:06:33 IST