Economy

United States steps up China trade spat with $200bn new tariffs

United States steps up China trade spat with $200bn new tariffs

Beijing immediately retaliated with similar duties on US exports.

The U.S. imposed an initial round of 25% tariffs, applying to $34 billion in imports, as part of a $50 billion tariff plan.

The Trump administration has released a gargantuan list of Chinese goods that will be subject to tariffs, kicking a burgeoning trade war into high gear.

"As a result of China's retaliation [the introduction of tariffs on $US34 billion worth of US imports] and failure to change its practices, the President has ordered the US Trade Representative (USTR) to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10% on an additional $US200 billion of Chinese imports", Lighthizer said. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monteary Fund's China division.

The move escalates the trade war between the world's two largest economies. The U.S. imposed those tariffs to pressure China to stop forcing American companies to hand over trade secrets and other intellectual property to Chinese firms as a condition of doing business there.

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US President Donald Trump is likely to publish this week a list of $200 billion in additional Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, possibly as early as later on Tuesday, an administration official said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Mr Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest USA retailers, said: "The president has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers'".

The US Trade Representative office will hold hearings on the targeted products and it's expected it will take about two months to finalize the list, at which point Mr Trump would decide whether to go ahead with the tariffs.

The White House says the tariffs are a response to unfair trade practices by China.


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