Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

US to slap tariffs on extra $200 billion of Chinese imports

Shipping containers are seen at a port in Shanghai US unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs
Ebony Burgess | 11 July, 2018, 08:07

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it would assess an additional 10 percent tariff on up to $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced plans for further tariffs as an additional action to the existing 301 case relating to alleged Chinese theft of US intellectual property.

"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", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in an emailed statement. The index had gained for the past two sessions, having enjoyed a lull from the trade war fears that lashed global markets last week.

US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described the move was "reckless".

President Donald Trump vowed to hit back on a growing list of products after China retaliated in kind for the first round of 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports that Washington imposed last week.

American experts have been quick to slam the President's new rules and accused him of "punishing" ordinary American people.

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The US is planning to implement 25 per cent tariffs on a further $US16 billion worth of Chinese imports within the next fortnight. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products.

To argue their case against tariffs, consumer companies' playbook has included pointing to higher costs for everyday goods, while laying the blame at the president's feet - the American Apparel and Footwear Association has dubbed the tariffs the "Trump tax".

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.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, China considered the substitution of imports and the overall impact on trade and investment while making up a list of U.S. goods hit by import duties.

Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any USA trade action.

China also seems to be projecting confidence that it can withstand political turmoil, said David Rank, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. "Right now, world trade is relatively chaotic". But a senior administration official who briefed reporters Tuesday on the condition that he not be identified added: "we do intend to keep the pressure on them". "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division.

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