Trump administration announces $US200 billion in extra China tariffs

Gladys Abbott
July 11, 2018

The Trump administration raised the stakes in its trade war with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion (£150.8 billion) worth of Chinese imports.

The US had no choice but to move forward on the new tariffs after China failed to respond to the administration's concerns over unfair trade practices and Beijing's abuse of American intellectual property, the officials said. They target baseball gloves, handbags and digital cameras, among other goods.

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.

"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". US officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

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

"For many years, China has pursued abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation", Mr. Lighthizer said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The trade confrontation between Washington and Beijing has been escalating for months, despite Trump's repeated statements that he has a good relationship with China's President Xi Jinping.

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

The administration will consult on the products over the summer, and make a final decision on tariffs after August 30.

"We expect this will have a meaningful impact on US consumer inflation as well as a meaningful drag on US GDP growth", he said in an interview, citing the Chinese government's pledge to retaliate against new US duties.

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

The U.S.is now considering levying duties on a further $16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month. "We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy". "Moreover, they will blame any economic troubles on Trump and the United States".

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