Donald Trump wants the U.S. to impose a massive, 45 percent tariff on all products coming into the country from China.
"I would tax China on products coming in," the Republican presidential front-runner told the New York Times. "And the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be … the tax should be 45 percent."
The savvy New York businessman released a policy paper on U.S.-China trade reform in early November that detailed his plans, as president, to take action against China's currency manipulation and intellectual property theft, and to strengthen America's negotiating position with the potential U.S. adversary.
Until now, however, none of Trump's rhetoric on U.S.-Chinese relations has included any mention of a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the U.S.
"The only power that we have with China is massive trade," Trump, who's second in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings. told the Times, noting that while he's in favor of free trade, "it's got to be reasonably fair."
According to David Dollar, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution's China Center, Trump's suggested tariff could open the door to negative implications for both countries, if instituted.
"Putting a high tariff on China's export, in violation of [World Trade Organization] rules, is likely to invite trade retaliation, harming both economies," Dollar told the Examiner.