USA sets date for additional China tariffs

Andrew Cummings
August 9, 2018

It represents the latest salvo in the ever-expanding trade war between the U.S. and China.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than U.S. tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

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

Trump's aggressive trade actions have drawn sharp criticism from business and from members of his own Republican party, as well as numerous warnings that an continuing to ramp up the trade war will harm the USA and global economies. For instance, the major complaint is about the theft of United States intellectual property by Chinese firms. Tariffs would make USA oil uncompetitive in China.


Among the products removed from the earlier list on $16 billion of imports were shipping containers, including those used by freight companies. But given the lack of talks and Trump's unclear goals, the trade war doesn't appear to be close to a resolution.

In July, China's exports rose by 6 percent to 1.39 trillion yuan, a reading that beat market expectations, Huatai Securities said in a research note.

China's goods trade went up 8.6 percent year on year to 16.72 trillion yuan (about 2.45 trillion USA dollars) in the January-July period of this year, customs data showed Wednesday.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce". There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs. The Trump administration already has a list of $200 billion more in tariffs against China that are under consideration.


The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China.

Wednesday's knee-jerk reaction to the announcement of the tariffs was a typical move by traders.

The duties are part of a broader round of tariffs on $50bn worth of goods the USA announced in March.


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