United States steps up China trade spat with $200bn new tariffs

11 July, 2018, 04:26 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The Latest: China raises tariffs on optical fiber materials

President Donald Trump is preparing to release a list of an additional $200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The official said the decision was not final and that the list of Chinese goods would not become final until after the public had a chance to comment.

"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.

The Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs on medical equipment, electronics and other goods from China apply to exports made by USA or European companies as well as Chinese suppliers.

This most recent maneuver follows a threat President Trump made last month, and comes days after the USA and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $30 billion in goods.

Companies are "scrambling to readjust supply chains" so goods bound for the United States don't pass through China, Harborn said at a news conference.

China has stepped up action against some USA goods by announcing anti-dumping duties on raw materials used in making optical fibers.

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"These practices are an existential threat to America's most critical comparative advantage and the future of our economy", said Robert Lighthizer, the president's chief trade negotiator. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further USA tariffs.

In addition, the U.S.is considering separate duties on a further US$16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

Administration officials said they hoped the measures would convince the Chinese government to increase market access for U.S. companies and address allegations of the theft of intellectual property.

The Trump administration has accused companies in China of repeatedly committing intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices, while it says China's government remains unresponsive to its concerns.

The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday.

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

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