China imposes retaliatory tariffs on $60bn in United States goods

Andrew Cummings
September 19, 2018

The new taxes will hit a broad swath of products, including billions in Chinese-made voice data receivers, computer memory modules, data processors, and accessories for office equipment such as copiers and banknote dispensers - instantly making widely used goods more expensive.

Once the new round of tariffs takes effect on Sept 24, punitive duties will be in place on roughly half of the products the United States buys from China - its largest source of imported merchandise. A list released last month included coffee, honey and industrial chemicals. It appealed for "pragmatic dialogue" to "jointly safeguard the principle of free trade and the multilateral trading system".

The latest round of duties comes on top of a 25 percent tariff already imposed on about US$50 billion in Chinese goods.

The new round of American tariffs takes effect September 24.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that Trump's latest tariff salvo "has brought uncertainty" to the planned negotiations, but he stopped short of saying that Beijing was pulling out.

Kudlow said the theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of valuable technologies occurring in China were unacceptable.

Earlier yesterday Mr Trump claimed that the consequences of the global trade dispute have been "almost..."

The American Chamber of Commerce in China warned Washington is underestimating Beijing's determination to fight back. "Because we can't let them do anymore what they've done", he said.

They warned, however, if Beijing decides to execute its own round of tariffs on American goods, the president will unleash further measures. According to these experts, a large US trade deficit with China means that America is a wealthy country and American consumers can afford the most up-to-date devices.

Beijing has vowed to retaliate on a range of USA products valued at around $60 billion.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened further retaliation against China if Beijing targets USA agricultural or industrial workers amid a trade dispute, and accused China of trying to sway the United States election by targeting farmers.

The United States has announced fresh tariffs on $200 billion (€171 billion) of Chinese goods, spooking markets anxious about an escalating tit-for-tat trade war between the world's largest economies.

"The goal of the tariffs is to modify China's behavior", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC. China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt.

American and European businesses operating in China say that if Washington presses ahead with more and more tariffs, it is likely to only add to the challenges businesses are already facing.

Trump's move means that America will now have tariffs on roughly half of its imports from China (which totalled over $500bn last year).

The products spared included consumer electronics like smartwatches and Bluetooth devices, child safety products such as high chairs, vehicle seats and playpens, and certain health-and-safety products such as bicycle helmets, the officials said.

"Unfair policies and practices", such as the theft of United States companies' intellectual property are to blame for the escalation, Trump said in a statement, and despite recent talks aimed at breaking the deadlock between the two sides, neither seems in a rush to back down.

China's finance ministry said it will respond accordingly if the United States further increases tariffs.

Trump also has complained about America's massive trade deficit - $336 billion previous year - with China, its biggest trading partner.

The globalists represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are finding it increasingly hard to influence the administration's trade policy. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.

Not only did Trump move forward with punitive tariffs on China, but he also hinted that another $267 billion in tariffs are under consideration. The levies focused on industrial products, not on things Americans buy at the mall or via Amazon.

By expanding the list to $200 billion of Chinese products, Trump may spread the pain to ordinary households.

And the figure of 10 per cent allows him to raise the stakes later.

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