Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Trade war Round 2? U.S. threatens new tariffs on China

Trade war Round 2? U.S. threatens new tariffs on China

"As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to USA goods and services", he added.

But China has rebuffed US complaints and denied any harm was done to USA companies, and instead retaliated "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said.

China has, in recent years, become a key export market for growing USA energy exports.

President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China previous year.

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

Chinese authorities implemented tit-for-tat tariffs on key United States exports into China, including some major agricultural products.

President Trump published a list of Chinese goods he will give a tariff of 10 percent on, which are worth a total of £151 billion.

The eventual goal is to impose tariffs on 40 percent of Chinese imports, the same proportion of USA goods hit by Beijing's retaliation, an official told reporters. This would be the third round of tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the Trump administration and comes shortly after a tariff of 25% went into effect against $34 billion of Chinese goods. While this initial move focused more on Chinese industrial products, the follow-up promises to instead affect ordinary consumers.

"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 says.


While Chinese shares regained Wednesday's heavy losses, with the Shanghai Composite index rising 2.2 percent, the yuan fell against the dollar following the central bank's weakest daily fixing in almost a year and Washington's fresh tariff threats.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move.

"The United States has unveiled the list of tariffs in an escalating manner".

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list.

"But more tariffs like these will punish America's manufacturing workers - and could undermine our hard-won gains thanks to tax and regulatory reform". "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.

Chinese tactics, the administration said, include outright cybertheft and forcing US companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

According to its detailed notice on the process to come, USTR aims to conduct hearings in late August, which means that the earliest possible implementation date for the additional $200 billion in tariffs can be in September.

China's exports have mushroomed since it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, making it the world's second-largest economy and prompting widening criticism in recent years from trading partners that it has unfairly used global trade rules to its advantage. During a visit to Germany this week by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the countries signed business deals worth more than $23 billion.

'We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy'.

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