Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Trump Issues More Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Goods

Nellie Chapman | 18 September, 2018, 12:50

Trump, in a statement announcing the new round of tariffs, warned that if China takes retaliatory action against U.S. farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports".

China vowed to retaliate against the new round of tariffs announced Monday by Trump.

US President Donald Trump on Monday defied warnings and escalated the trade confrontation with China, hitting the country with tariffs starting next week on another $200 billion in imports and threatening to target even more if Beijing retaliates.

These tariffs will then rise to 25 per cent on January 1.

Washington has already imposed 25 percent duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods over what it alleges are unfair trade practices.

In Beijing, China's commerce ministry was unusually silent in the hours after the USA tariff announcement, as China's vice premier Liu He reportedly held a meeting to decide on Beijing's response.

Trump threatened that nations that don't make "fair" deals withe USA with getting "Tariffed" on Monday morning prepared to slap the trade rival with the expected $200 billion in penalties. But, the official said, they will exclude some consumer electronics such as smart watches and Bluetooth devices as well as health and safety products such as high chairs, bicycle helmets, child vehicle seats and playpens. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt.

"Tariffs are a tax on American families, period", said Hun Quach, RILA´s vice president for global trade. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has charged that China is using predatory tactics to obtain foreign technology.

The Trump administration has bypassed the WTO on its tariffs, however.

"China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns", Trump said.

The administration's proposal for the tariffs on US$200 billion (S$247 billion) of products drew protest from technology companies earlier this year, but the final list of taxed devices described by the official avoids many big consumer brand names and products. "Once again, I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices".

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week invited top Chinese officials to a new round of talks, but thus far nothing has been scheduled.

Trump's latest escalation of tariffs on China comes after several meetings yielded no progress.

"But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices", he said.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said Trump is clearly increasing the pressure on China to come to the table and begin a new trading relationship that is fairer to the American farmers, workers and businesses.

In the letter sent earlier this month, Apple said a range of its products would be hit and warned that the proposed tariffs, which could lead to higher production costs, higher consumer prices and "lower overall USA economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences".

China's yuan currency has weakened by about six percent against the United States dollar since mid-June, offsetting the 10 percent tariff rate by a considerable margin.

At the same time, the administration said it is still open to negotiations with China.

By imposing such a tariff, the official said, the USA is not trying to constrain China's growth.

Officials from both countries have met four times for formal talks, most recently in August, when Treasury's undersecretary for worldwide affairs, David Malpass, led discussions in Washington with Chinese vice minister Wang Shouwen.