Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute and an adviser on China to the White House, said the threats should be taken seriously.

“Based on my knowledge of the debates going on in the White House, I take it at face value that the president means he’s going to 25 percent Friday,” he said. “Of course, the Chinese could always talk him out of it by making concessions.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/05/business/trump-tariffs-china-trade-talks.html