Wednesday, 22 August, 2018

USA tariffs on China: Trump administration adds $16 billion

Lloyd Bates | 08 August, 2018, 20:55

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office is reviewing tariffs on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports and those duties could start once a comment period ends on September 6.

China said it is targeting 333 products, including crude oil, coal, diesel, cars, bicycles, medical equipment, steel products, scrap metals and waste paper, as well as fish meal.

The first tariffs were imposed in March and China responded in April.

The Trump administration just announced tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese imports to the U.S.

Sales at 50 major Chinese retailers fell by 3.9 per cent in July from a year earlier, raising concerns over whether Beijing can push through its plan to ramp up domestic consumption to offset the effects of the intensifying US-China trade war.

In a statement, the Chinese Commerce Ministry charged that the United States "once again put domestic law above global law by imposing "very unreasonable" new tariffs on Chinese goods".

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Trump to propose 25-pct tariff on $200b of Chinese imports
The fight over trade kicked off in March when Trump threatened to hit $50 billion worth of Chinese imports with a 25% tariff. In 2017 the United States had a $376 billion trade deficit with China, which it is keen to reduce.

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The tit-for-tat protectionist measures are poised to surge even higher, with the USA reviewing 10 percent duties on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports that it may even raise to 25 percent after a comment period ends on September 6. Those duties could be in place after a comment period ends on 6 September.

Crude oil prices are under pressure because a tariff on imported USA crude oil means a drop in demand. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of "being vicious" on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on goal. Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the USA slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

The surplus with the United States was higher than China's overall trade surplus in July, which was $28.05 billion, indicating China ran a net trade deficit with the world excluding the U.S. Chinese imports worth $34 billion would be subject to the new 25% tariff as of July 6, with another $16 billion worth of imports subject to the tariff at a later date.China retaliateswith an equivalent set of tariffs.

The two sides held three rounds of formal talks, beginning with a delegation to Beijing led by Mnuchin in May. But within days, Trump himself backed away from the deal, saying talks would "probably have to use a different structure". Washington has long criticized China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

June 18: Trumpthreatens a 10% tariff on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

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