White House announces additional $200B in tariffs targeting China

13 July, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Shipping containers are seen at a port in Shanghai

The Trump administration on July 6 imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports, the first time the president has implemented tariffs directly on Beijing after threatening to do so for months.

"The retaliatory options available to China include boycotting American goods, sharply devaluing the yuan, and selling off U.S. Treasury holdings", wrote Xiao Minjie, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo. But China only bought about $135 billion in US goods previous year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

With US-China trade tensions continuing to rise, nearly every major asset has tumbled - including the Australian dollar, gold, oil, base metals and global stocks.

For the full list, see the 205-page document.

Automobiles and home furnishing retailers are expected to be hit particularly hard by the new United States tariffs because China supplies 65% of United States furniture imports, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, a senior member of Mr Trump's Republican Party, said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

China last week accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history" with his administration's original round of tariffs.

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The new list published on Tuesday targets many more consumer goods than those covered under the tariffs imposed last week, raising the direct threat to consumers and retail firms.

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some U.S. business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticise the move.

President Donald Trump last month threatened additional tariffs against China if it retaliated.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple". Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

National Retail Federation senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said the move "doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers". Tighter monetary policy also would boost the value of the dollar and dent USA exports - another hit to growth.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a full-blown trade war could undermine the broadest global upswing in years.

In commodities, United States crude futures inched up 0.25 per cent to $70.57 a barrel after tumbling 5 per cent the previous day as trade tensions threatened to hurt oil demand and news that Libya would reopen its ports raised expectations of growing supply. Mr Tusk added "we spend on defence much more than Russian Federation and as much as China".

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