Monday, 12 November, 2018

Trump administration announces $US200 billion in extra China tariffs

Dealing rooms were in sombre mood early Dealing rooms were in sombre mood early
Gerardo Duncan | 11 July, 2018, 08:09

More than 6,031 product lines are affected by the proposed tariffs, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains, tobacco, auto rearview mirrors and burglar alarms.

The move is a major escalation in a brewing trade war between the world's two largest economies.

While China's theft and coercion of intellectual property from foreign companies is a widely acknowledged problem, trade experts are largely skeptical of Mr. Trump's strategy to deal with it through punitive tariffs.

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some US business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticize the move.

Any new tariffs would likely not be finalized until after August 30th.

Mr Lighthizer said the products targeted by the tariffs are those that benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer. This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

Some US business groups and senior politicians sharply criticized the latest action, with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

President Donald Trump vowed to hit back after China retaliated for the first round of 25% tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports that Washington imposed last week. The United States and China launched what Beijing called the "biggest trade war in economic history" Friday, July 6, imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods amid a spiraling dispute over technology.

The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. However, because China exports more to the USA than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods.

The American president told reporters that tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese goods are set to take effect in two weeks. "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.

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the USA moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now. Since then, the president has said his administration could impose duties on virtually all Chinese imports into the U.S.

Beijing has called on Chinese firms to substitute American imports with those from other countries in response to U.S. trade tariffs.

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