Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

Trade war Round 2? United States threatens new tariffs on China

Trade war Round 2? United States threatens new tariffs on China

Trump has been following through on pledges he made during his presidential campaign to get tough on China, which he accuses of unfair trade practices including theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer that have led to a $375 billion USA trade deficit with China.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive on Air Force One at Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.

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

World stocks fell and the dollar rose Wednesday after Washington threatened to hammer Beijing with tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese imports, ratcheting up the global trade war.

"Don't start a trade war and throw the soybean farmer under the bus because some big business lobby in Washington is whining about China's terms of business", he said.

In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said at a forum in Beijing that the latest U.S. proposals interfered with the globalisation of the world economy and that China's support for a multilateral trade system would not change. It's an extensive list of over 6,000 goods that include seafood, propane and toilet paper, among many other things.

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the U.S.", it said in a statement, according to a translation by Google.

"Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters".


President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China past year.

The president has openly mocked pushback from Capitol Hill, riffing last week about what happens when he moves to put tariffs on countries that have been "ripping us off for years".

The USTR will accept public comments on the latest round of tariffs and hold hearings August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior US official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. China responded with levies of its own, targeting $34 billion in USA products such as pork and whiskey.

The abrupt escalation is "totally unacceptable", said a Commerce Ministry statement.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch in a statement.

For more than a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition. His determination to renegotiate trade deals has targeted not only competitors on the world market such as China, but longtime friends and allies such as the European Union or Canada.

"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the United States economy at risk".

Crude oil prices also sank heavily on concerns that a trade war could sap demand for the commodity that greases the wheels of the global economy - a concern echoed in OPEC's latest monthly report on Wednesday.

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