United States escalates trade war with new $200 billion China tariff list


Farmer Terry Davidson walks through his soy fields July 6, 2018, in Harvard, Illinois, the same day China imposed retaliatory tariffs aimed at the U.S. soybean market.

Beijing gave no details of the possible retaliation but earlier it threatened "comprehensive measures".

Investor confidence started to return early this week amid a momentary lull in the trade war, following Beijing's retaliation tariffs on U.S. imports last week after Trump hit China with a 25 per cent tariff worth $34bn on imports.

The spiraling conflict over USA complaints about Chinese technology policy has prompted warnings it might chill global economic growth.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association said new tariffs on Chinese imports would punish American families by driving up prices.

United States President Donald Trump's administration released a list of Chinese goods proposing an additional 10% tariff amounting to $200 billion (Rs 137.65 crore), reported CNBC.

In June, Trump instructed Lighthizer to prepare $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs that will be enforced if Beijing imposed retaliatory penalties on USA -made products.

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"This act is typical trade bullying", a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

China is shocked by what the United States did... the Chinese government will, as always, be forced to take necessary countermeasures.

"We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake".

China Daily said in an editorial that Beijing had to stand up to Washington.

Last year, the United States imported fishing products from China for a total value of USD 2,700 million (tilapia represented USD 426 million and shrimp accounted for USD 335 million) while it exported seafood to the Chinese markets for USD 1,300 million, according to statistics from NOAA.

USTR will hold hearings in late August on the list of targeted products, and an administration official said it would take about two months to finalize, at which point Trump would decide whether to go ahead with the tariffs.

On Tuesday, the Office of the US Trade Representative proposed implementing 10 percent tariffs on a whopping 6,031 types of Chinese goods, including a range of food products and consumer electronics. That could include making life hard for American companies operating in the world's second biggest economy.

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That "will hit the Chinese export sector hard", said Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit in a report. China immediately responded with $34 billion worth of tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation.

The proposed new US tariffs follow the decision to impose duties in two stages on $50 billion in Chinese goods. However, China has vowed to match every tariff tit-for-tat, and will likely follow through. Beijing could target American companies like Apple.

Regulators can deny or cancel licenses or tie up companies by launching tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations. All other major governments have approved the deal.

The conflict is "far from over", warned Hannah Anderson of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report, "and the impact will be global". "If the Americans can not export to China, they will look for markets in Canada - Europeans will look at the other markets, and all of a sudden Canada will be damaged".

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's tactics.

The earliest they would come into effect is September.

US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described the move was "reckless". "It's up to them to open the door again". Given the tough stance both sides are taking right now, expect this trade war to worsen before it improves.

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