Trump readies tariffs on another $US200m of Chinese goods

13 July, 2018, 10:15 | Author: Carlos George
  • US to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports

BEIJING-China reacted angrily to the Trump administration's new tariff plans for $200 billion in Chinese goods, calling the move a "totally unacceptable" escalation and vowing to roll out unspecified countermeasures.

Trade war with the world: USA tariffs on aluminum and steel from Canada, the European Union and other countries have also triggered retaliatory tariffs on United States goods. China promised to lodge complaints at the World Trade Organization but didn't detail what its retaliatory measures would be.

Smaller exporters will be hit particularly hard by the tariffs, according to Cao Yishan, a credit research analyst at PIMCO Asia Ltd.in Hong Kong, as they can't pass on the costs through price rises or by shifting production elsewhere like their bigger counterparts can. But late Tuesday, when the administration issued a list of 6,000 products worth $200 billion that it proposes to hit with 10 per cent tariffs, it included consumer items ranging from baseball gloves to seafood, vacuum cleaners, toilet paper and burglar alarms.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Washington did a thorough investigation to justify imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports to compensate for the harm to the U.S. economy caused by China's unfair trading practices, including theft or forced transfer of American technology.

Oil prices were also hit by the trade war concerns.

The Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed U.S. official who said Trump "values the relationship we have with European allies" and has "made clear the importance of working together with Europe on unfair Chinese trade practices".

"The US closed the door for negotiations", Mr Li said. They have given no indication when they might meet again.

The Trump administration said the new levies are a response to China's decision to retaliate against the first round of USA tariffs.

Stocks began to be traded lower today as a trade war between the USA and the other major economies became a reality after President Donald Trump unveiled new tariffs on Chinese goods.

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"For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said. "China has not changed its behavior - behaviour that puts the future of the USA economy at risk".

The article noted that United States industry officials had said the new tariff threats against China "were bound to be seen as a signal to Europe that the USA wouldn't back away from the trade fight" and "also could be a specific warning" to Merkel. Chinese tactics, the administration says, include outright cybertheft and forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

United States officials released a list of thousands of Chinese imports the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.

On Friday, the USA imposed 25-percent tariffs on around $34 billion in Chinese goods, sparking an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.

Additionally, they cover bags and boxes; building products, luggage and include some categories of plastic machinery and molds apparently not covered in previous tariffs.

China's compliance with WTO guidelines lies at the heart of the conflict, notably over Beijing's alleged state support for purportedly private companies.

The US is now considering levying duties on a further $16 billion (Rs 11,036 crore) in Chinese goods, after a public hearing this month, Bloomberg reported.

China has seven weeks to make a deal or dig in and try to outlast the U.S. leader.

Since March, Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade battle, with both countries releasing tariff proposals in retaliation. The White House has recently increased tariffs on imports from a number of countries. But with only $130 billion in goods coming in from America, the Chinese wouldn't even be able to match the $200 billion figure, much less anything above that. The Chinese government's industrial strategy to make its goods competitive on the global market, in place since 2015, seems to have been one of the key instigators of Trump's trade war. That prompted fears Beijing, running out of imports for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the USA, might try to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

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