China to hit US with tariffs on US imports worth $16bn
09 August, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Brooke Harris
US President Donald Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surplus with the US. President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion previous year.
Last month, the United States imposed duties of 25 percent on Chinese imports worth $34bn. The world's largest exporter, China is still benefiting from robust global demand even as increasing tensions and rising trade barriers with the U.S. weigh on the outlook.
The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".
China's crude oil imports in July rose for the first time in three months, but were still at their third lowest monthly level so far this year, as independent refiners continue to suffer from the new tax regime eroding their refining margins.
China's foreign trade maintained steady growth in the first seven months of this year despite escalating trade tensions with the United States, with data pointing to a more balanced trade picture. That was off slightly from June's 13.6% rate but still stronger than China's global export growth.
Trump going ahead with tariffs on $16B in Chinese imports
The Semiconductor Industry Association expressed disappointment at USTR's decision to keep the sector on the tariff list. Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of USA threats.
The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy. Its imports from the US rose 11.8 percent in the same period.
The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China. In response, China has threatened up to 25 per cent tariffs on US$60 billion in American imports.
Economists had forecast the surplus would be $39.33 billion in July, compared to a surplus of $41.47 billion in June.
The tariffs will be activated on August 23, the ministry said, the same day that the United States plans to begin collecting 25 percent extra in tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods.
China's headline numbers are the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world's second-largest economy since U.S. duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of "being vicious" on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on goal. China's exports to the USA fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of United States goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.
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The balance, however, could be disrupted by potential sanctions by China against US oil imports and unplanned supply disruptions. It shipped out nearly 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in September, equivalent to around 3 percent of global demand.
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