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USA slaps tariffs on $200bn in China goods as trade war escalates

18 September 2018

Mr Trump threatened to "immediately" double the list of imports subjected to tariffs if China retaliated but the country said that it had no choice but to do so.

Kudlow said the U.S.is open to a trade deal with China if Beijing commits to reducing its trade barriers, while speaking at the Economic Club of New York Monday.

"The US insists on increasing tariffs, which brings new uncertainty to the consultations between the two sides", the ministry said.

U.S. President Donald Trump's expected announcement of new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods drew an immediate threat of reprisals from Beijing.

"If we're not right, we'll roll them back, " Trump is reported to have said.

Trump also has complained about America's massive trade deficit - $336 billion past year - with China, its biggest trading partner. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative charged in a March report that China is using predatory tactics to obtain foreign technology, including hacking U.S. companies to steal their trade secrets and forcing them to turn over their know-how in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

The new tariffs, which come into effect Monday, start at 10%, but are due to rise to 25% at the start of 2019.

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China's yuan currency has weakened by about six percent against the United States dollar since mid-June, offsetting the 10 percent tariff rate by a considerable margin. But if the administration enacts the additional tariffs it would engulf all remaining USA imports from China and Apple products like the iPhone and its competitors would not likely be spared.

Despite the changes, the new tariffs still will cover about US$200 billion worth of additional Chinese goods, as part of an intensifying trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

Consumer safety products made in China, such as bicycle helmets sold by Vista Outdoor and baby vehicle seats and other products from Graco Inc also were taken off the list.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly", Trump said in a statement.

China announced tariffs on United States goods worth $60 billion on Tuesday (Sep 18) in retaliation for President Donald Trump's decision to slap duties on US$200 billion in Chinese products next week.

The new list would spare fitness trackers from Fitbit Inc (FIT.N), which had said in a comment letter to regulators that the tariffs would compromise its own investment in the United States.

A lower tariff rate could soften the blow to United States consumers and manufacturers among others ahead of key USA congressional elections in November. The administration is targeting a bewildering variety of goods - from sockeye salmon to baseball gloves to bamboo mats - forcing US companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the cost to their customers. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!' he wrote.

USA slaps tariffs on $200bn in China goods as trade war escalates