WASHINGTON—The U.S. turned up the heat Wednesday on China, with the Trump administration threatening to more than double proposed tariffs on imports while Congress passed a defense bill designed to restrict Beijing’s economic and military activity.
The moves come as Beijing and Washington have failed to ease an escalating trade dispute, prompting the administration to seek additional leverage. The administration, which has already affixed tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports, said it would consider more than doubling proposed tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, up from an original 10%.
Meantime, the Senate approved a defense-policy bill that both tightens U.S. national-security reviews of Chinese corporate deals and revamps export controls over which U.S. technologies can be sent abroad. The bill, which also restricts Beijing in areas ranging from cultural activity to military exercises, passed the House a week earlier and President Trump is expected to sign it into law.