Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Economy | By

Trump threatens higher tariffs on China

Trump threatens higher tariffs on China

"China has made full preparation for the USA threats to escalate the trade war, and will have to retaliate to defend national pride and the people's interests", China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Thursday on its website.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Twitter that the measure sought to "urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its markets, and engage in true market competition".

China's commerce ministry said the US tactics would have no effect on China, and would disappoint countries that are against trade wars.

The White House is considering increasing planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, according to unnamed sources familiar with the issue, as quoted by Bloomberg.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing that President Trump's threats at "blackmail" would fail. A second round of tariffs on imports worth $16 billion could take effect this week.

But she was slightly more guarded with her financial paper trail, tightly intertwined with Republican operative and reputed lover Paul Erickson, BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday evening.

Earlier this year Trump implemented tariffs on China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada, saying it was the surest way to secure improved trade deals. "The U.S. unilaterally exerting pressure on China will get the opposite of what it wants", he said.

The administration had previously imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods on July 6 over similar concerns that Beijing was stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.

The USTR said it will extend a public comment period for the $200 billion list to September 5 from August 30 due to the possible tariff rate rise.

"We don't have anything to announce today about a specific event, or a specific round of discussions, but communication remains open and we are trying to figure out whether the conditions present themselves for a specific engagement between the two sides", one of the officials said.

That strategy, it said, "doesn't work for China at all".

The tariffs would affect food, chemicals, steel and aluminum and consumer goods ranging from dog food, furniture and carpets to auto tires, bicycles, baseball gloves and beauty products.

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