Trump going ahead with tariffs on $16B in Chinese imports

08 August, 2018, 12:55 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • The White House reportedly had a private meeting with tech industry representatives last week.                  Daniel Terdiman  CNET

But there seems no solution at sight as the Trump administration prepares for tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional United States dollars 200 billion in Chinese products.

Beijing has retaliated with its own duties on $34bn of United States goods.

President Donald Trump announced the tariffs totaling $50 billion in April.

The tranche of 25 per cent tariffs - which covers 279 products including electronic parts, plastics, chemicals, batteries, tractors and railway cars - follows $US34 billion worth of tariffs announced by the U.S. government in July. Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States past year amounted to almost $524 billion.

The U.S. said it will begin imposing 25 per cent duties on an additional US$16 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

Over the weekend, Trump said he had the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout. However, analysts still expect a less favorable trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl.

Mr. Trump has continued to portray tariffs on foreign imports as good for the country, even as many Republicans and traditionally right-of-center groups preach their ills.

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Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of USA threats.

China initially responded to the news that the USA was considering tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods with threats of equal tariffs.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The new list covers products such as semiconductors, electronics, plastics, and railway equipment. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of USA goods.

The Semiconductor Industry Association expressed disappointment at USTR's decision to keep the sector on the tariff list.

Explaining the decision, the USTR cited an "exhaustive" investigation that found China using joint venture requirements, investment restrictions and licensing procedures to pressure United States companies into technology transfers.

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