China to hit USA with tariffs on U.S. imports worth $17bn

Gladys Abbott
August 9, 2018

The latest United States tariffs on 279 products, including motorcycles, speedometers and antennas, will also take effect August 23. China's latest tariffs will be implemented on August 23, in tandem with the U.S.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite USA duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world's two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.

"The risk is that the United States administration's gamble to strong-arm China into giving into all USA demands without some compromise only leads to successive rounds of higher and higher tariffs".

Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the USA rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago.

A list published by the U.S. Trade Representative's office indicated 279 import product lines for tariffs.

"We expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than USA tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation".

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China is slapping additional import tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of US goods ranging from oil and steel products to autos and medical equipment, the commerce ministry said, as the world's two largest economies escalate their trade dispute. The US levied 25% duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods on 6 July, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing. That was off slightly from June's 13.6% rate but still stronger than China's global export growth.

China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from USA companies.

It said a combined total of $6.3bn worth of semiconductors and related products would now be hit by tariffs.

Crude oil prices are under pressure because a tariff on imported US crude oil means a drop in demand. Larger items are also on the list of 333 goods being targeted including large passenger cars and motorcycles as well as various fuels, and fiber optical cables.

There are very few domestic electric bike manufacturers to protect in the US, it was argued, meaning that the "trade war" simply damages a growth industry and one that brings green credentials at a time when they sorely need promotion.

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