Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

White House announces additional $200B in tariffs targeting China

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg
Kelvin Reese | 11 July, 2018, 05:13

The United States has chose to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further USA tariffs.

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.

The fight with China comes as Mr. Trump is also locked in a trade war with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other USA allies.

Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates US intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology.

China's retaliation to those measures was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.

Much of what the USA imports from China is apparel, handbags, shoes and electronics - products that were largely spared in earlier tariff lists.

Instead of giving in, however, China hit back with dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs on US products.

"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war".

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The move comes just days after the United States and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on the other countries' goods. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against USA products.

Assuming that happens as planned, the Trump administration will have levied tariffs on over $100 billion in imports into the United States.

"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise".

Trump authorized an initial $50 billion in tariffs - including the $34 billion that took effect Friday - to match those losses.

The U.S.is now considering levying duties on a further $16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

"For companies that are severely impacted, we suggest they report to local government departments", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Monday.

China also seems to be projecting confidence that it can withstand political turmoil, said David Rank, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

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