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United States to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports

13 July 2018

US President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China previous year.

Sources in Chinese state media told Reuters that Beijing is concerned that negative coverage of the president could further inflame the trade conflict between the two countries.

The 10% tariffs will not kick in immediately but will undergo a two-month review process, with hearings August 20-23., according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index also slid 0.7 per cent.

China immediately branded the plan a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed to protect its "core interests".

That's not to say that China is eager for a trade war or can afford to be indifferent to its consequences, says David Dollar, who was the U.S. Treasury Department's financial emissary to China during the Obama administration.

He also called this latest round of proposed tariffs targeting $200 billion of Chinese goods "an appropriate response.to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies".

"It is a chaotic time in worldwide trade", said Li.

But Trump, for his part, showed no sign of reconciling with China. The U.S. last month agreed to lift the measures after ZTE pays a record fine and consents to management changes.

"Farmers have done poorly for 15 years".

The response in the United States to the latest trade war measures, both in political and business circles, has not been to oppose the trade war against China as such.

Although it was not a direct reaction to the new move from Trump's administration, the official English-language newspaper China Daily said in an editorial that Beijing had to stand up to Washington.

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"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the USA side", Kuijs said.

Despite bipartisan support, the Trump administration's latest move drew criticism from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is retiring at the end of his term in January.

"We will remain vigilant in defending the ability of our workers and businesses to compete on a fair and reciprocal basis", he said.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association said new tariffs on Chinese imports would punish American families by driving up prices. "I think China hopes it can minimize the departure out of China of multinational firms", said Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics.

On Friday, the United States imposed 25-percent tariffs on around $34 billion in Chinese goods, sparking an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the US moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now.

US President Trump subsequently threatened to apply a 10% tariff on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese products. There are fears that Beijing could attempt to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

If the United States were to impose tariffs on oil, USA oil sellers would have to look for other destinations and attract new customers, which could cost them more. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 88-11 in favour of a non-binding resolution calling for Congress to have a role in implementing such tariffs.

In his statement, Lighthizer claimed that the United States has specially targeted those Chinese products that "benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices", and China's retaliation - from Washington's perspective - was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification".

Just as the US President arrived in Brussels, however, the United Kingdom government announced it will send an additional 440 troops to help support the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Afghanistan. "The steel tariffs alone could increase the cost of a 280-mile pipeline by as much as $76 million", Gerard, Dooley, and Hamberger said.

United States to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports