August 18, 2018

Trump to propose 25-pct tariff on $200b of Chinese imports

04 August 2018, 12:47 | Austin Hogan

A Buddhist monk votes at a polling station during a general election in Phnom Penh Cambodia July 2018

A Buddhist monk votes at a polling station during a general election in Phnom Penh Cambodia July 2018

Trump is seeking to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration says.

'The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behaviour and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens'.

Today, the USA is considering 25% tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods, much higher than the 10% it previously indicated it might impose, BBC reported.

"The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is meant to provide the Administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens", he said.

"Importers may have ordered aggressively in June ahead of tariffs imposed this month by the USA and China", the port stated in a press release.

The U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of imports from China on July 6, which then led China to respond with similar sized tariffs on U.S. products, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration is considering more than doubling its planned tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to return to the negotiating table, three people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

China announced Friday it will put tariffs on $60 billion of USA imports if the US moves forward with 25% tariffs on $200 billion goods.

"Any unilateral threat or blackmail is only going to escalate the conflict and hurt everybody's interests".

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The list, unveiled on Jul 10, hits American consumers harder than previous rounds, with targeted goods ranging from Chinese tilapia fish and dog food to furniture, lighting products, printed circuit boards and building materials.

"The escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned", said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a news release, although she also attributed high volumes to strong global economies.

China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on USA goods were rational and restrained.

The Chinese government did not specify what types of American products would be affected or when those tariffs would take effect. Beijing responded by imposing the same penalties on the same amount of US imports.

Geng said China's door to dialogue on the trade dispute is open, but that it had to be based on mutual respect and equality.

But the move drew swift condemnation from US business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.

General Electric (GE.N) estimated the new tariffs on its imports from China could raise its costs by $300 million to $400 million overall, before steps to lessen the impact while General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N) have lowered their full-year profit forecasts.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing in Beijing that the United States' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.

The US Trade Representative's office initially had set a deadline for final public comments on the 10 per cent proposed tariffs to be filed by August 30, with public hearings scheduled for Aug.20-23. It has typically taken several weeks after the closing of public comments for tariffs to be formally activated.

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