Trump imposes tariffs on $200B more of Chinese goods

Andrew Cummings
September 18, 2018

The U.S. Trade Representative said safety products, including bicycle helmets, were among the 297 product categories removed from the list of proposed tariffs.

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

Lou was finance minister through 2016 and serves as chairman of China's 1.9 trillion yuan ($290 billion) National Social Security Fund, which manages assets of government pension plans.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has indicated that Trump could be willing to meet face-to-face with China President Xi Jinping to smooth over trade tensions at the United Nations General Assembly later this month or at the Group of 20 nation summit in Argentina in November.

China is reportedly threatening to pull out of trade negotiations if the USA levies new tariffs, and the Foreign Ministry on Monday said it would respond in kind if the U.S. were to levy fresh tariffs. Consumer safety products made in China, such as bicycle helmets sold by Vista Outdoor and baby auto seats and other products from Graco Inc also were taken off the list.

His comments follow a report in The Wall Street Journal.

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

In a filing with the government, for instance, Giant Bicycles Inc. of Newbury Park, California, noting that 94 per cent of imported bicycles came from China previous year, complained that "there is no way our business can shift its supply chain to a new market" to avoid the tariffs and warned "a tariff increase of this magnitude will inevitably be paid for by the American consumer".

Trump, who had already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, said a week ago that he would be adding tariffs on another $200 billion in goods and had tariffs on another $267 billion in Chinese imports "ready to go on short notice if I want".

"Lou Jiwei's approach would feed the most hawkish sentiments in the US government", the person said, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter. "That's good news. At least we did something", he said.

Speaking Sunday at an economics forum, Lou Jiwei, a former finance minister and chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund, said Beijing should disrupt supply chains of American companies that rely on China's vast manufacturing industries, the website reported.

Such inconsistency in who represents the United States in these China negotiations drew one more round of criticism from the USTR panel.

USA officials say those violate Beijing's market-opening commitments and worry they might erode United States industrial leadership.

President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China's "unfair trade practices, including subsidies and rules that require foreign companies in some sectors to bring on local partners".

The Retail Industry Leaders Association pointed out that the new tariffs would still hit more than $1bn worth of gas grills from China, $843m worth of luggage and travel bags, $825m worth of mattresses, and $1.9bn worth of vacuum cleaners.

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