U.S. unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs

12 July, 2018, 13:43 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Chairman Xi speaks at the National People’s Congress in Beijing

The US on Tuesday published a list of $200 billion (€170 billion) worth of Chinese goods that could soon be hit with tariffs.

"The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm US families and workers".

The country's Commerce Ministry earlier threatened "comprehensive measures", which were feared to include harassing American companies in China.

'Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters'.

President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China a year ago.

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the United States", a statement on the ministry's website declared.

Beijing recently indicated that its response to more tariffs would include "qualitative" measures, which many analysts interpreted as creating regulatory hurdles or even stoking anti-US sentiment among consumers of United States products.

On Wednesday, Beijing said it would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes in their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, a swift escalation after an earlier round of tariffs took effect only on Friday.

The eventual goal is to impose tariffs on 40 percent of Chinese imports, the same proportion of United States goods hit by Beijing's retaliation, an official told reporters.

The first US tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products, an attempt to reduce the direct impact on American consumers.

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"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition".

On Wednesday, China's main stock index lost 1.8 per cent and Japan's market benchmark fell 1.1 percent.

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the US decision, saying this latest round of tariffs could undermine the economic gains from the administration's tax and regulatory reform policies.

The tariffs initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump have also drawn criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party, as well as from U.S. trade groups anxious about higher costs for businesses and consumers.

'Tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products amounts to another multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families, ' trade lawyer Scott Lincicome said.

"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the USA economy at risk".

The United States is playing a risky game as China is one of the United States' most important trading partners, with about $630 billion (-$130 deficit) in trade done in 2017, not far behind Canada ($670 billion, +$8 billion surplus) and just ahead of Mexico ($616 billion, -$64 billion deficit).

US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described the move was "reckless".

The survey showed 53 percent of companies increased investment in 2017, down from 55 percent the year before, highlighting a trend of reduced investment growth since a 2012 peak, when 74 percent of respondents said they had boosted investment in China. "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people". During a visit to Germany this week by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the countries signed business deals worth more than $23 billion.

Experts have said that the outlook of the trade war depends on how China responds to the tariffs on its imports.

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