USA considering higher tariffs on US$ 200 bil. of Chinese goods

05 August, 2018, 01:58 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • China says US tariff threat runs against trend of the times

A week after moving to ease trade tensions with the European Union, the administration said it would consider imposing a 25 percent tariff on certain Chinese imports, up from the 10 percent Trump proposed last month.

As the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies enters its second month, Mr Trump's administration said it was proposing a higher 25 percent tariff, up from the previously proposed 10 percent in July.

The news comes amid reports of the USA administration's plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion in imported Chinese goods, according to US-based media.

In a statement, Lighthizer said the proposed higher tariff is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage Beijing to change its trade practices.

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China's Finance Ministry accused the Trump administration of damaging the global economy after the US proposed increasing duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods in the second round of a dispute over technology. The US had threatened an additional US$200 billion with levies of 10%, a level the administration may raise to 25% in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said. Despite the fact that some United States media have linked the proposal to hike tariffs to a sharp drop in the Chinese currency, senior USA officials downplayed that idea in a telephone call with reporters.

China warned the US against "blackmailing" Beijing amid reports Wednesday that President Trump is considering higher tariffs to force the Chinese back into trade negotiations.

Beijing responded saying it would hit back with countermeasures if the United States went ahead with its threats.

Markets were however steady on Tuesday, given a boost by hopes for new negotiations. "This won't work on China", he said. Economists warn that the tariffs will punish American firms that import goods such as plastics and semiconductors from China.

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The dispute is part of broader US complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Officials in Beijing have vowed to respond with the same amount of tariffs on U.S. products. China also depends on trade more than the U.S.

A full-blown trade war with China and, perhaps, the rest of the world, would significantly raise the price of imported goods and domestic import substitutes in the United States, lifting the inflation rate and perhaps forcing the Fed to adopt a more aggressive stance on U.S. rates.

Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on September 5.

Before Trump's proposal was made public, the Chinese government claimed on Wednesday that U.S. "blackmail" and pressure on its exports are "not going to work".

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Two Trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call that the USA president remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries are discussing whether a "fruitful negotiation" is possible. "If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

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